Recap: Louisville vs. SMU
Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Russ Smith and Luke Hancock netted 23 points apiece in 12th-ranked Louisville's 71-63 win over SMU.
Smith added seven assists and four steals while Hancock recorded a season high in points for the second straight game after dropping 20 in a loss to No. 24 Memphis on Thursday.
Montrezl Harrell chipped in 12 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Cardinals (14-3, 3-1 AAC), who have won three of four overall. It was Harrell's second straight double-double and third of his career.
Markus Kennedy led a balanced SMU (11-4, 1-2) attack with 12 points and eight rebounds. Shawn Williams added 10 points despite spending the majority of the first half on the bench with foul trouble.
"Foul trouble really affected us, and their effort was great," said SMU head coach Larry Brown. "When you play a team that Rick (Pitino) is coaching, they're going to give you great energy, they're going to be disciplined and well-coached."
Harrell's emphatic alley-oop and free throw highlighted a 6-0 Louisville spurt which gave the Cardinals a slight lead early on.
Ryan Manuel's righty jam in transition tied the score at 10-apiece, but the Cardinals responded with a 20-5 run over the next 7 1/2 minutes, ignited by another Harrell dunk at 12:15. Louisville got a boost defensively from Mangok Mathiang, who swatted Ben Moore's runner near the 10 minute mark, and offensively from Terry Rozier, who deposited a pair of 3-pointers during the surge.
SMU trailed 37-20 late in the first half but scored the last five points of the period to cut its halftime deficit to 12.
"Our first half defense was the best we played all year," said Pitino. "We rotated beautifully and we did a lot of great things."
The Cardinals' lead was trimmed to just two after six straight points from Kennedy early in the second period, but Hancock hit two timely 3-pointers around a Rozier layup to restore an eight-point Louisville advantage.
The hosts led the rest of the way despite a late SMU push. Nick Russell potted a corner 3 with just over a minute remaining to pull the Mustangs back to 67-61. SMU then forced a turnover on the inbounds pass and got to within four on a pair of Moore free throws.
Louisville put it away when Hancock sank two clutch free throws and after Kennedy missed a 3 from the top of the key, Harrell sealed the outcome with a breakaway slam.Game Notes
Louisville leads the all-time series, 7-2 ... SMU won the rebounding margin
48-35 ... The Mustangs shot just 2-of-11 from 3-point range while the
Cardinals made 10-of-23 from the arc ... The two teams will meet again in
Dallas on March 5.