Indiana led by one with 17:42 to go Saturday against No. 4 Kentucky. But the Wildcats used an 18-0 run to pull away for a 90-73 victory.
IU fed off the energy at a packed Assembly Hall to jump to an early 17-9 lead. But Kentucky kept creeping closer and eventually took a one-point halftime lead.
The Hoosiers recaptured the lead early in the second half, but the Kentucky run ended any thoughts of an upset. Eric Bledsoe had two three-pointers and a dunk in the run. He finished with 23 points.
"Where we didn't make progress is we're not nearly good enough on the backboards," IU coach Tom Crean said.
Kentucky out-rebounded Indiana 49-24.
Maurice Creek led IU with a career-high 31 points. He went 5 for 8 on three-pointers and was 8 for 8 from the foul line. No other Hoosier scored in double figures. Jeremiah Rivers had six points and eight assists.
"Maurice Creek is a high-level player. He played a high-level game," Crean said.
Crean said it's "clear-cut" the Hoosiers (4-5) are making progress.
"It felt like a big game though," Crean said. "Last year, I'm not so sure, this year, it felt like a big game."