Russ Smith’s Defense, Chane Behanan’s Monster Dunk Help Lift Louisville Over DePaul
Score: No. 10 Louisville 79, DePaul 58
Star(s): Louisville: Russ Smith 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast. (also joined the 1,000 point club tonight)
Story: Either DePaul entered its home game hot or Louisville came out bitterly cold, but the Blue Demons started out the half up 8-0. After the Cards finally warmed up and got on the board, they made a 10-0 run of their own.
After seven U of L turnovers and with just under seven minutes to go in the first half, it was 19-16. By the time the buzzer sounded for halftime, Louisville had broken away, 34-25.
With 15 minutes to go in the second, Wayne Blackshear hit the first three of the game. The Cards gained a 17-point lead, but soon after Siva committed his fourth foul and took a seat (seriously… just three minutes after), DePaul cut it back to single-digits just under the eight minute mark. With Siva out, DePaul’s forward Cleveland Melvin found the ball easier inside and brought the Blue Demons back into the game.
Pitino put Siva – four-fouls Siva – back in, and the combination of his and Russ Smith’s defense completely stopped Melvin. Soon enough, Louisville reached the highest score differential of the night, which was also the end score, 79-58.
The win for Louisville gave the Cardinals 11 Big East wins for the season, a claim also made by Georgetown and Marquette.
The loss for DePaul was its tenth straight to Louisville, its fourth straight in the season, and continued the truth to the statement that the Blue Demons have not beaten Louisville since they joined the Big East.
Happy DePaul Day.
Highlight of the Game: Chane Behanan dunk. Top ten or bust.