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Controversial ‘T’ costly as Kansas freshman Flory Bidunga’s Indiana All-Stars fall

Kansas men’s basketball power forward Flory Bidunga scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed four rebounds while playing 13 foul-plagued minutes in the Indiana All-Stars’ 103-82 loss to the Kentucky All-Stars on Friday night at Lexington (Kentucky) Catholic High School.

Bidunga, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound graduate of Kokomo (Indiana) High School, was whistled for a technical foul — his fifth foul of the game — after his dunk with 10:26 to play cut a three-point deficit to 67-66.

The Indianapolis Star cited Bidunga’s fouling out with so much time to play as the turning point of the contest. Kentucky went on a 19-2 run with the Kansas freshman out of the game and rolled to victory.

“I didn’t say a word,” Bidunga told Kyle Neddenriep of Indystar.com. “I worked for the rebound, got a dunk and was enjoying the moment. I didn’t say a word. But I don’t know what the ref heard.”

Bidunga’s high school and Indiana All-Stars coach John Peckinpaugh told the Indy Star the technical foul call was “laughable.”

“He yelled,” Kokomo High coach Peckinpaugh explained to the Indy Star. “That kid hasn’t gotten one technical foul in his high school career. He’s fouled out of maybe two, three high school games in his career. It’s an all-star game. People come to see the best players play. It’s too bad we didn’t get to see that tonight.”

Bidunga, who is originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, had two assists, a turnover and a steal in his 13 minutes.

Future Holy Cross guard Max Green had 36 points on 14-of-16 shooting for Kentucky. He went 5-of-7 from 3.

Bidunga — he scored 34 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the Indiana high school seniors’ 104-96 victory over the state’s top juniors Wednesday night after scoring eight points in the Bill Self campers intrasquad contest Tuesday in Lawrence — dunked twice early in the second half to give Indiana a 55-43 lead. Kentucky responded by outscoring Indiana 60-33 the final half.

“I would have loved to be there for my teammates, making some defensive plays and getting some blocks,” Bidunga told the Indy Star. “Just sitting over there, watching it happening, I was kind of down. But I’ll tell you something: You should have seen us in the locker room. We’re going to be ready for tomorrow. We just want to play the game. We let them feel themselves a little bit and that was the outcome of the game.”

Indiana will face Kentucky in a rematch on Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. According to the Indy Star, Indiana’s stars have won 43 of the past 50 games against Kentucky dating to 1998.