INDIANAPOLIS — Before heading off to college Whitney Jennings had some business to take care of on Saturday.
Jennings picked up her Miss Basketball ring, led the Indiana All-Stars to a sweep of Kentucky and was named Player of the Game in the win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Jennings had 14 points, five assists and four steals in the 83-56 rout.
Indiana improved to 43-35 against Kentucky since the series began in 1976. The Hoosier state girls recorded their first sweep of their bluegrass state counterparts since 2009. . Kentucky had won five of seven games entering the contest.
Indiana hit on all cylinders in the win on Saturday. For the second straight game Indiana jumped out to a 24-10 but this time did not let Kentucky back into the game late.
“I felt like this week I really wanted to bring everyone together and we just meshed really well together,” Jennings said. “We shared the ball and we played together and that’s what helped us win.”
Kentucky was within 52-39 with 15 minutes left in the contest when Jennings went into ‘Whitness Mode’ to put the game away. She had eight points and an assist in a 2:35 span that included knocking down a 23-footer.
Kayla Brown then scored on an and-one followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Sydney Buck, the second of which was on an assist by Jennings, and Indiana led 70-44 with 8:50 remaining.
Buck, a Butler recruit, had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from distance. Ana Owens, a Cincinnati-bound point guard who formed a potent backcourt with Jennings, added 10 points, seven assists and four steals.
Indiana coach Eric Thornton of Norwell pulled the right strings after the loss on Monday to the Junior All-Stars at the Berry Bowl.
“The way our team shared the ball and sacrificed was an awesome experience,” he said. “I thought Tuesday was the difference in the week. We had two practices that day. There was a lot of energy in both practices. Our girls really had a lot of pride in not wanting that to happen again and using that to our advantage. That level of competition was really important for us to go through even though the loss on Monday was hard.”