'Cats Can't Hang With Cards

Louisville's Terrence Williams scored a game-high 20 points and the seventh-ranked Cardinals (21-5, 12-2 in the Big East) pulled down 17 offensive rebounds off of 29 missed shots as head coach Rick Pitino's squad defeated the Bearcats 72-63 Saturday.

"Obviously, we got dominated on the defensive glass. It was the story of the game. We lost the effort-related statistics," said UC head coach Mick Cronin. "We got physically outmanned. We got pushed around."

Cincinnati (17-10, 7-7 in the Big East) kept stride with the Cardinals early, and trailed by just three points at the end of the first half. Louisville began to open things up in the second, leading by as many as 13 with five minutes remaining.

Williams, a 6'-6" senior forward from Seattle averaging just over 12 points per game, shot 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, pulled down eight rebounds, and dished out a team-high five assists to go along with his 20-point performance. The Cardinal's leading scorer this season, junior forward Earl Clark, had 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, five of which coming on the offensive glass. Sophomore guard Preston Knowles came off the bench to shoot a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from three-point land en route to 11 points.

"I think our passing has gotten better. We have made some great passes. We executed in using screens and in their full court press. We played a terrific game," Pitino said.

Alvin Mitchell came off the bench to lead the Bearcats with 14 points but shot just 5-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-12 from long range. UC's leading scorer this season, Deonta Vaughn, was a popular point of interest for the Louisville defense. This focus turned put Vaughn into more of a passing role, as he had a game-high eight assists. There were bright spots in Cincinnati's offense, but overall Cronin was disappointed with his team's effort.

"We had 19 assists and shot 43 percent. We didn't get to the foul line. At the end of the day, we give away possessions because we don't rebound the basketball," Cronin said. "The days of Deonta shooting the ball for us all the time are over. He is playing point guard. We have other guys that can score the ball."

Freshmen Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates each scored 10 points in coming off the bench for Cincinnati.

Up next for the Bearcats is their contest with Bob Huggins and his West Virginia Mountaneers, set for Thursday night.


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