VMI shocks Kentucky, 111-103

Published 11:57 pm Saturday, November 15, 2008

Billy Gillispie didn’t mention Gardner-Webb, but his postgame assessment was verbatim from the last time his Kentucky team was shocked like this.

“They whipped us,” Gillispie said of the Wildcats’ 111-103 upset to Virginia Military Institute Friday night.

The upset came just over a year after Gardner-Webb’s 84-68 stunner over the Wildcats in Gillispie’s second game as coach. The sequel came in the opener of year two, which was supposed to be a tuneup for the Wildcats’ trip to No. 1 North Carolina next week.

Email newsletter signup

After spending a season trying to live down the fact that they got “Gardner-Webbed,” perhaps it’s time to change the moniker. In many respects, this one was worse for college basketball’s all-time winningest program.

VMI’s shoot-first approach was lethal to Kentucky’s youthful backcourt. Not since 1989 against North Carolina had a Kentucky team given up so many points, although it was also the first time in five years the Wildcats had passed the century mark.

“Credit to my kids, they just went out and did it and believed,” said VMI coach Duggar Baucom.

Travis Holmes led six Keydets in double-digits with 30 points and was beaming afterward.

“We haven’t beaten a big team since I got here,” Holmes said. “We tried to prepare for them as much as we could, but it’s indescribable. I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

Even a 39-point effort from Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks nearly double his career high of 21, wasn’t enough to keep pace.

“It’s always damaging when you lose,” Meeks said. “This team doesn’t have a lack of confidence. We have to put this behind us.”