Recap: Louisville vs. Hofstra
Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Russ Smith picked up a game-high 30 points to go with five assists as No. 3 Louisville downed Hofstra, 97- 69, in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.
Chris Jones totaled 20 points and seven assists for the Cardinals (2-0), who received 19 points and five rebounds from Montrezl Harrell en route to 51.5 percent shooting from the field.
"I thought Chris Jones, for a four or five minute period, just broke the game open with terrific play," said Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino. "Another night where he doesn't have a turnover in the game -- kind of unbelievable to play at this pace, to press, and to not have a turnover."
Louisville, which tied a school record with its 18th straight victory, next faces Cornell on Friday.
Dion Nesmith poured in 24 points for the Pride (1-2). Zeke Upshaw had 17 points, while Jarnall Robinson totaled 11 points and Stephen Nwaukoni pulled down nine boards in defeat.
The hosts were up by 15 at the break, but Hofstra put together an 18-8 surge to begin the second half and close within five. Robinson stoked the surge with three shots from long distance, Nesmith added a triple, and Jordan Allen's bucket made it a 54-49 contest almost 4 1/2 minutes in.
But the Cardinals asserted themselves and cruised to victory, thanks to 17-0 burst thereafter. Jones began the run with a three-point play and Blackshear connected on two treys, the last one to bookend it for a 71-49 contest with 11:12 remaining.
Louisville's lead reached the 30-point plateau on a Mangok Mathiang free throw with 7:48 left, and the hosts' largest lead of the contest followed on Mathiang's three-point play which produced an 89-51 edge with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.
Hofstra managed to reduce its deficit to 26 in the final seconds.
"We are going to take some stuff away from this game," said Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich. "We had a good stretch here in the beginning of the second half. We cut it to five. I just reminded the guys of that. We cut it to five and then we just shot ourselves in the foot too many times. We had 22 turnovers."
The Cardinals led 11-2 in the early stages thanks to six points from Jones and five from Smith. Smith canned a triple later on which gave Louisville a 33-14 edge and his layup over a minute later gave the hosts their biggest margin of the first half at 21 points.
Upshaw's bucket pulled Hofstra within 46-31 at halftime.Game Notes
Hofstra finished 14-of-25 from long distance, while Louisville made just 12 of
its 31 attempts from beyond the arc ... The Cardinals won the only other
meeting between the programs, a 75-66 decision in the first round of the 1997
Puerto Rico shootout.