Saturday, November 16, 2013

GAME RECAPS: Louisville 99, Cornell 54









(See the TWEETCAP of the Game from Card Chronicle. )




LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kevin Ware needed just 17 seconds to show Louisville fans he can still play.
Ware, the sentimental figure during the Cardinals' title run last season, scored Friday night on the first touch of his official return since shattering his leg during last season's NCAA tournament.The third-ranked Cardinals posted a school-record 19th straight win while welcoming back Ware in a 99-54 victory over Cornell.Ware, who played in an exhibition this season before sitting out Louisville's first two games, entered with 14:06 left in the first half. He split defenders on a drive to cap a 20-point run that made it 22-2."I was pretty upset at myself that I didn't dunk that one," Ware said. "I thought the big man would jump so I was looking for the contact. I'm just glad that I'm playing and just understanding myself again."Ware finished with five points and had two rebounds in 13 minutes."He's obviously not afraid to take it to people," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "He looked good out there."Ware's first game action since his injury came in a Nov. 6 exhibition, 220 days after the lower bone in his right leg came through his skin after a spill in the NCAA tournament.Ware didn't play three days later against College of Charleston as Pitino said the 6-foot-2 sophomore was "still limping a bit" and planned to keep in him on the bench until he recovered."I didn't feel it, but even my mom and my sisters who came to that practice were telling me that I was limping," said Ware, who also missed Tuesday's win against Hofstra. "At the time I was denying it completely like, `Nah, I'm fine, I'm going to play,' but Coach knew what he was doing."Ware showed his athleticism on a rebound he took all the way for a pretty left-handed finish to give Louisville a 39-11 lead with 6:24 remaining in the opening half.Wayne Blackshear led the Cardinals (3-0) with 20 points, hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers. Chane Behanan added 13 points and 12 rebounds.Nolan Cressler scored 10 points for Cornell (0-4).The Cardinals broke the school record for consecutive wins set by the champion 1979-80 team. Louisville won 16 straight in taking its third title last season.This win marked the 1,700th victory in the program's 100th season. Louisville ranks 12th on the all-time win list.Cornell lost to a Top 10 for the second time in seven days, having fallen at Syracuse 82-60 after leading by 14 early in the game."You're going against the best teams in America, so you kind of get a barometer of where you may be as a program and as a group," Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. "Our team is so young that we're still trying to figure ourselves out."Louisville forward Luke Hancock said the Big Red's fast start against the Orange was a factor in the team's preparation."The fact that they played so well the first-half against Syracuse, it made us pretty nervous and made us on our toes," said Hancock, who finished with 12 points.A problem with the lights at the KFC Yum! Center caused a 15-minute delay prior to the start of the game. After that, it was all Louisville.Tied at 2, Louisville unleashed the latest of its patented "boom" scoring spurts less than 1 1/2 minutes into the game.Guards Russ Smith and Chris Jones helped the Cardinals score 12 straight points. That forced Cornell to take a timeout, down 14-2 with 16:08 remaining in the half.Two Louisville steals that led to dunks followed, forcing another timeout.Louisville erupted for a 35-2 run in Tuesday night's 97-69 win over Hofstra and closed its opening win against College of Charleston by scoring 22 of the game's final 25 points.The Big Red used 15 players in the first half in an attempt to find any sort of success. They trailed 53-14 at halftime, shooting just 16 percent (5 of 32) in the opening 20 minutes. Cornell shot 29 percent for the game.


Box Score

Box Score (PDF)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The defending national champion Louisville Cardinals didn't waste any time proving they will can get back to the same stage. Louisville opened the game on a 22-2 run and never let up, topping Cornell 99-54 on Friday evening at the KFC Yum! Center. The third-ranked Cardinals improved to 23-0, while Cornell fell to 0-4.

Sophomore Nolan Cressler tallied 10 points and eight rebouinds to lead the Big Red, who suffered its worst loss since the 1995-96 season (100-46 vs. No. 4 Kansas). Senior forward Dwight Tarwater chipped in with nine points and five rebounds and classmate Dominick Scelfo had five points, three rebounds and three assists. Deion Giddens had five points and four rebounds and Robert Mischler hit a pair of 3-pointers for a career-best six points. The Big Red committed 19 turnovers and shot just 29 percent from the floor.

Louisville had five double figure scorers with Wayne Blackshear leading the way with 20 points. Chane Behanan notched 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Luke Hancock had 12 and both Russ Smith and Stephan Van Treese had 10 apiece. Montrezl Harrell registered seven points and 15 rebounds. Louisville shot 59 percent from the field and connected on 43 percent from beyond the arc.

The lights went out during introductions and took 15 minutes to come back on, and by the time they did, Louisville was ready to roll. Freshman David Onuorah put Cornell on the board with a big dunk less than a minute into the game to tie it at 2-2, but that was about as good as the Big Red would have it. Louisville put a 20-0 run on the visitors and forced a pair of Big Red timeouts before the first media timeout.

The Cardinals continued to build on its lead with great ball movement for open shots and pressure defense that forced three straight live ball turnovers for run-out baskets in less than a minute. By halftime it was a 53-14 game. Louisville led by as many as 49 before Cornell found a rhythm as part of a 12-0 Big Red run. Tarwater hit a pair of 3-pointers to highlight the spurt and the home team's second half advantage was just 46-40 with both teams liberally going to their benches in the final 20 minutes.

 It’s always a good thing for a team when the highlight of a basketball game is someone’s postgame outfit.
That’s exactly where the third-ranked University of Louisville Cardinals found themselves after blasting overmatched Cornell 99-54 on Friday night in the KFC Yum! Center in a game delayed 15 minutes at the start because of a lighting failure.
There was plenty to celebrate from the victory: the team’s second flirtation with 100 points, its 12 steals, its school-record 19th consecutive victory, even power forward Montrezl Harrell’s rare banked-in 3-pointer.
But star guard Russ Smith stole the show when he entered the locker room afterward. There he sat, decked out in a floral-patterned crew-neck sweatshirt and camouflage pants. His Indiana Pacers knit cap had a cursive “Russy” stitched across the front.
“I got it at the mall,” Smith said, flashing a coy smile as he answered the obvious question about the shirt. “I couldn’t tell you where, though.”
That was really the only question he and his teammates couldn’t answer Friday night. His one-handed fast-break jam in the first half served as his latest eye-catcher, the exclamation point on a frenetic start in which the Cards stormed out to a 22-2 lead.
They led by as many as 42 in the first half and stretched it to 49 in the second.
U of L (3-0) filed 13 players in the scorebook and shot 59 percent from the field, stifling Cornell to a 29.2 percent clip and forcing 19 turnovers. The Cards led 53-14 at halftime, holding the Big Red to the fifth-lowest point total in a half since U of L starting tracking stats in 1972.
It was exactly the kind of start coach Rick Pitino wanted after watching film of Cornell, which led ninth-ranked Syracuse by 14 points early and six at halftime a week earlier.
“We did a great job tonight of having intensity from the first play all the way to the end,” Pitino said. “It’s been a great day for us, recruiting-wise and obviously the performance on the court.”
Pitino and his staff signed four top-100 prospects earlier in the day, including Ballard High School guard Quentin Snider, who had decommitted from U of L and pledged to Illinois, then came back to the Cards on Thursday night.


 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The lights in the KFC Yum! Center malfunctioned after the starting lineups for last night's basketball game between the University of Louisville and Cornell, and the game was about 20 minutes late tipping off.

When they came back up, the No. 3-ranked Cardinals wasted little time turning the lights back out on visiting Cornell, sprinting to a 22-2 lead on their way to a 99-54 victory.

It was a night for history -- the win was U of L's 19th in a row, dating back to last season's NCAA Championship run, a new school record. It also was the 1,700th victory in school history, in the program's 100th season. U of L's previous longest winning streak came during its 1980 championship season.

History yes, drama no. U of L coach Rick Pitino said teams like Cornell "keep me up all night." But the winless Big Red never had a chance. U of L led 53-14 at half, the largest halftime lead of Pitino's U of L tenure. For the game, U of L made more layups or dunks (21) than Cornell had field goals (19).

Cornell's first-half point total matched the fifth-lowest for a U of L opponent in more than 40 years. And it took a Cornell three-pointer with 39 seconds left in the half to keep it from matching the lowest.

"We watched these guys and prepared really hard because against Syracuse they were up six at halftime and against Binghamton they were up 19 in the second half," Pitino said. "They'd been jumping on teams with the three-point shot, and we didn't want to give that up. So our guys were well-prepared to go against them and didn't take them lightly at all.

"(Cornell) is a very young team that if you let them shoot can cause problems. So we did a great job of having intensity from the first play right to the end. I'm really, really excited the way we rebounded, passed the basketball and did an outstanding job. It's been a good day for us recruiting-wise and a great performance on the court."

Pitino announced the surprise signing of Ballard High School star Quinten Snider in a 4 p.m. news conference before the game, then got some sharp play from his current backcourt to open the game. Russ Smith, Chris Jones and Wayne Blackshear combined for all of U of L's points in a 14-2 start that prompted a quick Cornell timeout.

Blackshear went on to a career-high 20 points, making six of seven shots from the field, including four of five from three-point range. He also had a pair of blocked shots and a steal, though he didn't have a rebound in his 18 minutes.

"Wayne is shooting the ball extremely well, playing with great confidence," Pitino said. "We've got him down seven pounds, he looks quicker. He's just got to start rebounding the ball. He's a really good rebounder but he was blanked tonight."

Part of the reason for that was that his teammates weren't budging on the boards. Montrezl Harrell grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds -- 13 of them on the defensive glass -- and Chane Behanan added 12 boards to give the Cards 27 from their power forward spot.

Behanan came off the bench with a double-double, scoring 13 points.

Cornell, in its second game against a Top 10 opponent, couldn't find the same three-point magic it had against No. 9 Syracuse. It lost to the Orange 82-60 a week prior.

"Their defensive pressure really rattled us in the beginning of the game," Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. ". . . We've got to improve, but we played against one of the better teams in the country. It was a lesson we have to learn. It's a hard lesson to learn, but it's one we have to get better from."

It also was the first regular-season action for Kevin Ware, who played 13 minutes and scored five points with two rebounds -- but also a pair of turnovers. Pitino had said he was showing a limp in practice, but noted that Fred Hina watched him and declared him ready to go.

"The more I get in the groove of being in games and not just in practice and individual (instruction) I'll start getting the feel of how I was playing before I got hurt," Ware said. "I feel fine physically. I'm getting back in shape."

Luke Hancock also continued his return, logging 14 minutes with 12 points and four rebounds.

"I feel 100 percent," Hancock said. "I felt 100 percent last game. My conditioning is going to get better, but for someone who hasn't been in practice, I feel pretty good about being able to step in and play and contribute."

The Cards shot 61 percent in the first half and 57 in the second. They put five players into double-figures and had 10 log double-digit minutes.

The only sour note -- the Cards made just 18 of 34 free throws. Pitino credited it to learning to play under fatigue, and in some cases poor technique.

The Cards are back in action against Hartford Tuesday night at home before hitting the road for the first time this season for a pair of games in the Hall of Fame Tipoff at Uncasville, Conn., next weekend.

NOTES: Pitino will sign copies of his book, "The One-Day Contract," at the Kentucky Book Fair in the Frankfort Civic Center on Saturday from 1 to 3, and will sign at Costco in Louisville Sunday at noon. . . . U of L's 18 turnovers over its first three games are the lowest total after three games in Pitino's U of L tenure. The previous low was 29 turnovers in the 2008-09 season. . . . Friday's game was the 60th game in the KFC Yum! Center for the Cardinals. They are 53-7 in the building. . . . With 10 points in the game, Smith climbed into 30th on U of L's all-time scoring list, passing Larry Williams and Jeff Hall. . . . Smith has had five assists in each of U of L's first three games. . . . Jones had his first turnover of the season when a pass glanced off the hands of Anton Gill. In 77 minutes played this season, he has 13 assists and one turnover.

The first clue the University of Louisville basketball team is going to shoot the lights out comes at tip-off time. The switch controlling the circuit breaker refusing to reset after player introductions, delaying the game for about 20 minutes.
Time to replay the NCAA videos celebrating a third national championship, the boogie videos, even the “One Shining Moment” video from CBS-TV network, the crowd shuffling in and out from the concession areas. Fans still finding their seats again as the teams line up for the tip-off.
The temporary blackout is about all Cornell has going for it in the 99-54 loss to UofL. The Cardinals racing to 22-2 lead, extending it to 53-14 by half, while marking the 19th win in a row for the defending NCAA champs and the 1,700th win in the history of the program.
The game may have been just the boost Wayne Blackshear needed to get his offensive motor going again, posting a career and game high best of 20 points while connecting on five of seven field goal attempts and four of five free throws in 18 minutes of playing time.
Montrezl Harrell with 15 rebounds, two more memorable dunks and even a three-point shot, perhaps the hit of the night, possibly raising the roof a bit, that smile of his.
Chris Jones with an off night for him, credited with only nine points and one assist. He also would make his first turnover after three games in a UofL uniform.
Russ Smith going easy on Cornell, contributing only 10 points while managing five assists.
The game was over early for the crowd of 19,834, many of them flocking from the KFC Yum! Center at the 11:19 mark, with Louisville owning a 73-34 advantage and no light at the end of the tunnel for Cornell.


The Boom! came early on Friday night as the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals used a 20-0 run to race to an early lead 22-2 advantage over visiting Cornell. The domination continued throughout as U of L led 53-14 at the half and cruised to a 99-54 win.
The is the 19th straight victory, establishing a new school record for consecutive wins. The previous mark was accomplished in the season-closing run by the 1979-80 team.
Thirteen Cardinals scored, led by junior Wayne Blackshear's career-high 20 points. Montrezl Harrell collected a career best 15 rebounds, to go with 7 points.
After sitting out the first two games, Kevin Ware played 15 minutes, scoring 5 points. Chane Behanan added 13 points and Luke Hancock had 12. Russ Smith and Stephan Van Treese each scored 10.
The victory is the 1,700th all-time win in program history and U of L becomes the 12th to reach that mark.
Next up for Louisville is a Tuesday night contest against Hartford at the KFC Yum! Center.


Cardinal Authority’s notebook on the University of Louisville’s 99-54 victory over Cornell includes notes on the boom factor and the longest winning streak in school history. The Cardinals have won 19 in a row.

THE BOOM COMES EARLY
The University of Louisville has been ‘booming’ folks since last season, making decisive runs in games where opponents can’t come back.
In a 99-54 win over Cornell, the boom came early.
U of L opened the game with a 22-2 run and never looked back, cruising to the school’s 19th consecutive win and No. 1,700 overall.
The 19-game winning streak is a school record. The old mark was 18 set during the run to the 1979-80 NCAA title.
U of L now has an overall record of 1,700-869 in 100 years of basketball.
LEVITCH GETS HIS FIRST BUCKET
U of L freshman walk-on David Levitch said he felt like he was going to get some run in the game against Cornell.
The former North Oldham High School standout hit a three-pointer late in the game, marking his first career points as a U of L Cardinal.
”I had to get one (shot up),” Levitch said. “Nothing at the moment was in my mind because (Rick Pitino) was yelling at me to get back on defense.”
”It was crazy to hear the crowd go crazy like that.”
FREE THROW WOES CONTINUE
The Cardinals continued to struggle from the free-throw line, hitting just 18 of 34 from the stripe. Chane Behanan was 1 of 3 and Mangok Mathiang 1 of 4.
On the season, the Cardinals are 47 of 81 (58 percent).
”Fifty percent of it is fatigue, the other 50 percent is technique,” Pitino said. “We have been working hard on that and will continue to work hard.”
BIG GAMES
Behanan and Montrezl Harrell both had big games for the Cardinals.
Behanan had his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 2 rebounds on 6 of 10 from the field. He also had two steals.
Harrell was 3 of 5 from the field and had seven points and 15 rebounds.
HALFTIME POINT TOTAL
The Cardinals led 53-14 at halftime but the 14 points from Cornell was not any kind of school record for U of L.
The fewest opponents points in a half since 1972-73 was 11 against San Francisco (2010) and Cincinnati (1981).
The Cardinals held Arkansas State to 12 in the second half in 2011 and Samford to 13 in the first half of a game last season.


Louisville started the game on a 22-2 run and never really looked back as the No. 3 Cardinals rolled Cornell 99-54 Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
The game was delayed by 20 minutes due to a lighting issue in the KFC Yum! Center, but once the game started Louisville wasted no time in running up a huge lead. After Cornell tied the score at 2-2 at the 19:10 mark, Louisville got a three and a pair of free throws from Russ Smith, a layup and a jumper by Chris Jones and a three by Wayne Blackshear to go up 14-2.
Back-to-back dunks by Smith and Montrezl Harrell brought the crowd to their feet. A steal and layup by Stephan Van Treese kept the run going and a layup by Kevin Ware, who entered the game at the 14:06 mark for his first playing time since his injury, capped the run.
The Cardinals led by as many as 42 points in the first half, outscored Cornell 20-1 in points off turnovers and 14-0 on fast break points. The Cornell Big Red finished the first half shooting 5 of 32 with 14 turnovers.
It was a full-team affair for the Cardinals as 13 different players scored including walk-on David Levitch, whose three in the final few minutes delighted the crowd.
Blackshear led all scorers with 20 points. Chane Behanan had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Luke Hancock had 12 points. Stephan Van Treese and Smith each scored 10, Jones had nine points and Harrell had seven points and 15 rebounds.
The Cardinals out-rebounded Cornell 49-37, outscored the Big Red 29-8 off turnovers and held Cornell to just 19 of 65 shooting.


Coach Rick Pitino
Opening Statement:
"We watched these guys and we prepared really hard, because against Syracuse they were up six at halftime and against Binghamton they were up 19 in the second half. They've been jumping on teams with their three-point shot and we didn't want to give that up. So our guys were well prepared to go against them and didn't take them lightly at all. This is a very young team that if you let them shoot, can cause problems as they were up at the Carrier Dome by six so we did a great job tonight of having intensity from the first play all the way to the end. I'm really excited with the way they rebounded and passed the basketball. They did an outstanding job. It's been a great day for us, recruiting wise and good performance on the court."

Blackshear hit 4-of-5 threes and led the Cards with 20 points.
On who performed well:
"I think Wayne (Blackshear) is shooting the ball extremely well, playing with great confidence. We got him down seven pounds, he looks quicker. He's just got to rebound the basketball. Wayne is a very good rebounder and he is blanked tonight from that. Our free throw shooting woes right now stem from two things. One, they don't know how to play when they're fatigued yet. Fifty percent of it is fatigue, the other fifty percent is just technique - and we've been working very hard on that, and will continue to work very hard, but they have got to get used to it. Like Peyton was an energizer bunny, and it never bothered him, he could go to the line. That's what they have got to learn."

On Kevin Ware entering the game:
"Well, the last three days, Fred (Hina) just told me, 'Did you notice Kevin?' I said, 'Yeah, he looks great, and I think it's time to play him.' He said, 'I agree - I didn't see any limping at all.'"

On Kevin Ware moving forward in the season:
"I think he is a really good basketball player. He's looks comfortable and really good in practice. He's obviously not afraid to take it to people. He looked good out there."

On Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell:
"Both of them pursued it. Chane's obviously a very good rebounder and gives us another big body inside and we need that because we haven't been rebounding. We've just got to get Wayne rebounding the basketball now. But we're passing the ball well, we're moving. You know a team is good when emotionally, even if the other team hasn't won a game, they're ready to play, because teams like this sneak up on you and our guys were really ready to play. That's a sign of humility and respect for your opponent and they came out and played really hard and they got a huge lead because of it."

On Stephan Van Treese:
"Stephan, on the free throw line looks great. If he can do it, the rest of the guys can do it. He looked confident and that's what we've got to get to where everybody's that way. Stephan's playing good basketball."

On what it means for David Levitch to get his first career points:
"You have to ask him, because every player is different. I think David Levitch is a very good basketball player. I think he needs strength and needs to learn how to play defense, but he knows how to play the game. He can pass, he can cut, and he knows the game. He has to get stronger and learn how to play defense. He is going to be every bit as good of a walk on then Tim Henderson was. He is not afraid to make a mistake, but you are going to ask him how he feels. Everybody's different. I am sure he will be very humble about it."

On how Russ Smith had five assists and what that means:
"I think Russ knows how to play. Chris (Jones) has got to really learn when he is pressing not to get tired and he got a little tired tonight and he has to learn. That was the great thing about Peyton (Siva). He has never played like this before and it is just a lesson for him, the same thing for Terry Rozier. I think Luke (Hancock) needs to get in better shape, I don't think Luke is in great basketball shape right now. He kept his body in great shape but he has to get in better shape."

On how he thought Chane Behanan played:
"I think he did a very good job. I think Chane is the best rebounder on the team, although Montrezl (Harrell) had a great game tonight and Stephan Van Treese. If we can just get those three guys. Chane has a very good knack for knowing where the ball is going to go. He really concentrates on watching the ball so he knows where it is going to go. I was impressed with Chane. He is coming around. I like what he is doing with his life and that makes me even happier than basketball."

On Mangok Mathiang and improvements to his game:
"He's just new to the game. He's a little straight up and down. He's got to learn ball skills, how to pass, how to dribble, but he's going to be very good. Like I've always said, he's ahead of Gorgui at the same stage - but he's a good basketball player. He's a good shot blocker; He has to play a lot of basketball. He'll be a very good player someday."

Cornell vs. Louisville - Post-Game News Notes

LOUISVILLE TEAM NOTES
With the win, Louisville extended its overall winning streak to 19 games setting a new school record and surpassing the previous mark of 18 straight set in the season-closing run by the 1979-80 NCAA title team. The current winning streak dates back to the five-overtime loss at Notre Dame (104-101) on Feb. 9, 2013.

Friday's game was victory No. 1,700 all-time for Louisville now in its 100th season of men's basketball. Overall, the Cardinals are 1,700-869, which ranks 12th among schools in most victories.

The 39-point halftime advantage (53-14) is the largest halftime lead for Louisville in head coach Rick Pitino's 13 seasons guiding the Cardinals. It surpassed the previous best of +37 (52-15) against East Carolina on Jan. 19, 2005 at Freedom Hall.

Cornell's 14 points in the first half of Friday's game are tied for the fifth fewest points allowed in a half by Louisville since 1972-73. It equals the second half total by Morehead State on Dec. 27, 2004 (53-14) and the first half total by Morgan State on Dec. 30, 1998 (46-14).

The 45-point win was the Cardinals' largest margin of victory since the 99-47 win over Missouri-Kansas City (+52) on Dec. 8, 2012.

The 18 turnovers through the first three games this season are the fewest total turnovers after three games in Pitino's 13 seasons at Louisville. The previous low was 29 through the first three games of the 2008-09 season (Morehead State, South Alabama and WKU).

With 10 turnovers on Friday, the Cardinals ended a stretch of five straight games (dating back to the final three games of last season) committing fewer than 10 turnovers.

The Cardinals shot 59.0 percent (36-for-61) from the field on Friday for their highest field goal percentage since shooting 64.6 percent (42-of-65) in the 114-82 win at Western Kentucky on Dec. 22, 2010.

Friday was Louisville's highest point total since the 104-101 five-overtime loss at Notre Dame last season. It was the Cardinals' highest scoring outing in regulation since the 104-74 win over Morgan State on Dec. 27, 2010.

Overall, it was the most points scored for Louisville since the 99-47 win over Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 8, 2012.

The 36 made field goals for Louisville on Friday was the most since making 37 (on 79 attempts) in an 87-60 win over Providence on March 2, 2011.

The 49 rebounds for the Cardinals were a season-high. It was the highest total since they had 54 in the five-overtime loss at Notre Dame and the most in a regulation game since they had 49 in the 64-38 win over USF on Jan. 12, 2013.

The 34 free throws for Louisville were a season-high and the most since they had 36 attempts (25-for-36) in the 85-63 win over Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament (March 31, 2013).

A season-high 14 Cardinals saw action in Friday's game with no player seeing more than 22 minutes.

Friday's game was the first ever between Louisville and Cornell and just the sixth all-time for the Cardinals against an Ivy League Member (5-1 record).

Friday's matchup was the 60th game played at the KFC Yum! Center for the Cardinals, who improved to 53-7 overall in the fourth season of the downtown facility.

LOUISVILLE PLAYER NOTES

With his 10 points on Friday, senior guard Russ Smith moved from 32nd to 30th on Louisville's career points leaderboard with 1,296 points surpassing Larry Williams (1,293 points, 1975-79) and Jeff Hall (1,294 points, 1982-86). Smith is 50 points behind John Reuther (1,346 points, 1962-65) at No. 29 on the all-time list.

For the third straight game this season, Smith had five assists and added a season-high three steals.

Junior Wayne Blackshear scored a career-best and game-high 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including a career-high four three-point baskets (on five attempts). He also matched a career-best with two blocked shots.

Junior Chane Behanan had the Cardinals' first double-double of the season and the 11th of his career after scoring 13 points and pulling down 12 rebounds (both season highs) in a season-high 17 minutes on Friday.

Sophomore Montrezl Harrell pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds, the highest total for a Louisville player since Gorgui Dieng had 17 rebounds in a 72-58 win over St. John's on Feb. 14, 2013. Harrell also added a career-best three assists in the win.

Senior Stephan Van Treese scored a season-high 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field.

Junior point guard Chris Jones committed his first turnover as a Cardinal on Friday. After three games, he has 13 assists with one turnover in 77 minutes played.

Senior Luke Hancock scored a season-high 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 at the free throw line and pulled down a season-best four rebounds in 14 minutes.

Junior Kevin Ware saw his first regular season game action on Friday night since suffering his leg injury against Duke last season in the NCAA Tournament. Ware scored five points on 2-for-4 shooting from the field with two rebounds in 13 minutes.

Freshman Anton Gill scored a career best four points and pulled down a career-high four rebounds in nine minutes.


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kevin Ware needed just 17 seconds to show Louisville fans he can still play.
Ware, the sentimental figure during the Cardinals' title run last season, scored Friday night on the first touch of his official return since shattering his leg during last season's NCAA tournament.
The third-ranked Cardinals posted a school-record 19th straight win while welcoming back Ware in a 99-54 victory over Cornell.

POSTGAME VIDEO
Pitino | Hancock | Blackshear | Smith
Ware, who played in an exhibition this season before sitting out Louisville's first two games, entered with 14:06 left in the first half. He split defenders on a drive to cap a 20-point run that made it 22-2.
"I was pretty upset at myself that I didn't dunk that one," Ware said. "I thought the big man would jump so I was looking for the contact. I'm just glad that I'm playing and just understanding myself again."
Ware finished with five points and had two rebounds in 13 minutes.
"He's obviously not afraid to take it to people," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "He looked good out there."
Ware's first game action since his injury came in a Nov. 6 exhibition, 220 days after a broken right leg in the NCAA tournament.
Ware didn't play three days later against College of Charleston as Pitino said the 6-foot-2 sophomore was "still limping a bit" and planned to keep in him on the bench until he recovered.
"I didn't feel it, but even my mom and my sisters who came to that practice were telling me that I was limping," said Ware, who also missed Tuesday's win against Hofstra. "At the time I was denying it completely like, `Nah, I'm fine, I'm going to play,' but Coach knew what he was doing."
Ware showed his athleticism on a rebound he took all the way for a pretty left-handed finish to give Louisville a 39-11 lead with 6:24 remaining in the opening half.
Wayne Blackshear led the Cardinals (3-0) with 20 points, hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers. Chane Behanan added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Nolan Cressler scored 10 points for Cornell (0-4).
The Cardinals broke the school record for consecutive wins set by the champion 1979-80 team. Louisville won 16 straight in taking its third title last season.
This win marked the 1,700th victory in the program's 100th season. Louisville ranks 12th on the all-time win list.
Cornell lost to a Top 10 for the second time in seven days, having fallen at Syracuse 82-60 after leading by 14 early in the game.
"You're going against the best teams in America, so you kind of get a barometer of where you may be as a program and as a group," Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. "Our team is so young that we're still trying to figure ourselves out."
Louisville forward Luke Hancock said the Big Red's fast start against the Orange was a factor in the team's preparation.
"The fact that they played so well the first-half against Syracuse, it made us pretty nervous and made us on our toes," said Hancock, who finished with 12 points.
A problem with the lights at the KFC Yum! Center caused a 15-minute delay prior to the start of the game. After that, it was all Louisville.
Tied at 2, Louisville unleashed the latest of its patented "boom" scoring spurts less than 1 1/2 minutes into the game.
Guards Russ Smith and Chris Jones helped the Cardinals score 12 straight points. That forced Cornell to take a timeout, down 14-2 with 16:08 remaining in the half.
Two Louisville steals that led to dunks followed, forcing another timeout.
Louisville erupted for a 35-2 run in Tuesday night's 97-69 win over Hofstra and closed its opening win against College of Charleston by scoring 22 of the game's final 25 points.
The Big Red used 15 players in the first half in an attempt to find any sort of success. They trailed 53-14 at halftime, shooting just 16 percent (5 of 32) in the opening 20 minutes. Cornell shot 29 percent for the game.

1st2ndTotal
CORNELL (0-4)144054
LOUISVILLE (3-0)534699
LeadersLOUCOR
PointsBLACKSHEAR (20) Cressler (10)
AssistsSMITH (5) Scelfo (3)
ReboundsHARRELL (15) Cressler (8)
StealsSMITH (3) Matthews (1)
BlocksBLACKSHEAR (2) Bunce (1)
Quick StatsLOUCOR
Field Goals36-61 (59.0%)19-65 (29.2%)
Free Throws18-34 (52.9%)9-17 (52.9%)
3-Point FGs9-21 (42.9%)7-28 (25.0%)
Offensive Rebounds1216
Defensive Rebounds3721
Total Rebounds4937
Assists169
Turnovers1019
Steals123
Blocks31
Points in Paint5224
Points off Turnovers298
2nd Chance Points1311
Fast Break Points198
Bench Points4327


*Louisville’s blowout of Cornell was the 1,700th win in the program’s history.
*The win was the 19th straight, a school record.
*Wayne Blackshear scored a career high 20 points in 18 minutes. He was 6-7 from the floor, including 4-5 from 3.
*’Trez had a career high 15 rebounds.
*Behanan posted a double-double of  13 and 12 in just 17 minutes.
*Russ had a team high 5 assists to just 1 turnover.
*Luke put up 12 points in just 14 minutes.
*SVT posted solid numbers of 10 points and 6 boards.
*Kevin scored 5 points in 13 minutes.
*The Cards shot 59% from the field, 43% from 3, and 53% from the foul line.



The Cardinals got off to a quick start tonight but it was delayed by about 20 minutes due to the lights being out in the KFC Yum Center. They would eventually get the lights turned back on after a brief delay and our Cardinals would be off to the races. They jumped all over Cornell from the opening tip and turned their lights out beating the Big Red 99-54. The Cards are off to a 3-0 start to the season and have won 19 straight dating back to last year. They also won the 1700th game in the programs history tonight. These guys haven’t lost a basketball game in 280 days.
The Cardinals looked very dominate tonight on both sides of the ball. The offense looked crisp and although they turned the ball over 10 times they weren’t careless even with a huge lead. This was the first game in the last six dating back to last year where the Cards had a double digit turnover night. They shot the ball exceptionally well tonight and the 59% shot from the field was the best since 2010. Every guy on the bench tonight would score except one and 5 players were in double digits. All of the rotations looked good and it seems that the new guys are adjusting and learning where they need to be on the court. The defense was also very good tonight and they forced 19 turnovers with 12 steals scoring 29 points off of those turnovers. There was a lot of activity in the press and guys were closing out the passing lanes and getting deflections. This group was very active on the defense tonight.
Kevin Ware, Luke Hancock, and Chane Behanan all played more significant minutes tonight and each of them looked comfortable on the floor. Chane had the best night of the three getting a double-double with 12 rebounds and 13 points. He was a physical presence on the court and thats exactly what Louisville needs from him. I glad he’s back! Kevin had some very good moves to the basket and scored 5 points. Luke scored 12 points tonight and was the only Cardinal that looked good from the charity stripe going 6 for 7.
The player of the game (and I type this with a big smile on my face) was Wayne Blackshear. Could this really be the break-out year we have waited for out of this guy? He has been very good so far in the first couple of games and tonight he was a beast. He hit 4 three point shots, scored 20 points and had 2 blocks with 1 steal. The only thing he could have done better was rebound. He has said that during the off season he was in the gym everyday getting up shots and making himself a better basketball player. So far that hard work is paying off.
Montrezl Harrell was again very dominate on the floor. And while he didn’t really have an explosive offensive night he did grab 15 rebounds. We are going to need his dominance on the glass more than we do his points this season in my opinion.
I know it’s early and I know that we have only played one legitimate NCAA team in College of Charleston, but from what I’ve seen so far this is going to be a special group. Going to back-to-back Final Fours and winning a National Champion has given this group a swagger and they have an attitude that they aren’t going to lose. You can tell that each time they take the floor that they are trying to be better than they were the night before. Winning breads winners and these Cardinals are winners. Every time I see them I get excited about what is to come. Hope you are ready for another exciting ride Cardinal Nation.


Technical difficulties delayed the start of Friday night's men's basketball game vs. the Cornell Big Red by about 20 minutes. The Louisville Cardinal basketball team, however, had no issues getting started.
After the ball was finally tipped, the Cards exploded right out of the gate and wasted no time bringing the "boom" effect to their opponents. By the 11:30 mark in the first half, the Cards had already scored 30 points to just 7 for Cornell. From the start of the game until the final horn, the Cards appeared to click on all cylinders, looking dominant in the process.
After taking a 53-14 halftime lead, the Cards finished off the visiting Big Red 99-54 in a romp.
GAME BALL
-- Chane Behanan. He may have stepped on the court Tuesday night vs. Hofstra, but it can be reasonably argued that his true "debut" was Friday night vs. Cornell. The junior forward was active all night, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes of action.
KEY STAT
-- 59% field goal percentage. Rick Pitino was able to show off his arsenal of scorers tonight and it seemed as if everyone on the team was hot at one time or another.
QUICK HITTERS
-- Wayne Blackshear, who had been having some difficulty getting his shots down in the first 2 regular season games started off the game with two straight baskets and finished with a career high 20 points in 18 minutes. He was 6-7 from the field and 4-5 from three point range, although Pitino was quick to point out his zero rebounds.
-- Stephan Van Treese, who finished the previous game vs. Hofstra with 4 rebounds and did not attempt a shot. He was much more active against Cornell. He had 2 steals in transition in the first half and the second one he took to the basket himself for a bucket. He finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds in 22 excellent minutes.
-- At about the 14 minute mark, Kevin Ware made his regular season debut. About 15 seconds after checking in he scored his first points of the season as he drove to the basket for a contested layup.
-- Chris Jones, who had not committed a turnover in either of the first 2 games, committed his first of the season with 8:07 left in the first half. The worst part? It was on a pass that went right through the hands of Anton Gill. It was his only turnover on the night.
-- On a night where Louisville looked nearly unstoppable in every aspect of the game, their one Achilles' heel was at the free throw line. They finished the first half just 12-24 from the charity stripe and 18-35 overall.
-- At the end of the first half the Cards had allowed only 14 points while forcing 14 turnovers.
-- Russ Smith had another solid night distributing the ball leading the team with 5 assists to go along with 10 points.
-- Montrezl Harrell was a monster on the glass tonight finishing with 15 rebounds and seemed to grab every rebound in his sight. He also finished with 7 points, including a banked-in 3-point basket.
-- Freshman walk-on David Levitch scored his first career points, a three-point basket in the second half.
PARTING SHOT
-- Louisville appeared back to championship form on its way to a 3-0 regular season start. There was not a lot the Cards did not do well in the 99-54 beatdown of visiting Cornell, and the depth of the team was on full display. In a game where most coaches would turn to their bench, Pitino did just that, although those players include talents like Anton Gill, Terry Rozier, Chane Behanan and Kevin Ware. Albeit it came against a very overmatched opponent, but it was a very impressive overall performance and promising for what the future may hold for this bunch.
NEXT UP
Louisville takes on Hartford at 7 pm Tuesday night at the YUM! Center. The game will be televised on WHAS-11.


The fact that defending national champion Louisville would defeat Cornell was never really in question. Everyone pretty much knew that the Cardinals would topple the Big Red, but after Cornell gave Syracuse more of a game than they expected, people probably thought Rick Pitino‘s squad was in for more of a challenge than most previously believed.

As it turns out, most people were right, and the challenge was nonexistent.

Louisville absolutely crushed Cornell, putting five players in double figures and holding the Big Red to just 29.2 percent shooting, and forcing them into 19 turnovers. The final deficit did not even begin to tell the story of just how dominant Louisville was, either. The Cardinals sprinted out to a 39-point halftime lead, using their insanely dominant defense to hold Cornell to 14 points in the first half. The Big Red were absolutely dismal and overwhelmed, shooting just 16 percent in the first half.

At the end of the day, the discrepancy in talent and depth proved to be so staggering that, despite using 15 players in the first half, Cornell still could not find a way to effectively combat Pitino’s squad. Looking for a reason to determine why Louisville was able to top Cornell, a potential challenger to Harvard for the Ivy League crown, can be summed up by saying that, quite simply, Louisville is just really, really good.

And there’s no shame in being completely over-matched by Louisville, either, considering they will more than likely run away with the AAC this season. It’s hard to look down the roster of teams and come up with anyone who could put up much of a challenge, save for possibly Connecticut, though, even that seems like a bit of a stress at this point.

People have talked about how dominant Kentucky and Duke could wind up being this season, but at the end of the year it’s extremely likely that it’ll be Louisville, and not either one of those two schools, or even Michigan State or Kansas, which boasts the most impressive win-loss record of them all.

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3 comments:

BigRed1965 said...

This was the first game where we couldn't even say that the Big Red showed flashes of brilliance, or promise. It was awful. What we can say is that this is still a young team that is finding itself, and it has to get better. PS I thought it was absolutely bush of Pitino to keep up full-court pressure with a 40-odd point lead. My admiration for him diminished considerably from watching that.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to Pitino, neither Cornell nor Louisville scheduled this game thinking that it would be competitive. Everybody knew going in that this would be just a glorified practice session for the Cards, with or without Shonn. Pitino is just practicing his team's base full court pressure package. He's trying to get something -- learning, experimentation, etc. -- out of this game, too, just like Cornell is.

Anonymous said...

If we combine the first half of the 'Cuse game and the second half of the 'Ville game, I think we can say we are on par with top-1o programs.