Louisville vs Seton Hall Notebook

The post-game notebook includes comments from Rick Pitino, Peyton Siva and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard about Louisville's 61-55 win over the Pirates in the second round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday night.

Rick Pitino Opening Statement
"It was a hard fought game for us. Russ is not used to playing that many consecutive minutes. He's obviously a much better free throw shooter. Normally he hits the rim (laughter), but he was so gassed because he was playing so hard that he's 112 pounds, so he just got really, really tired. But he helped us. Peyton I thought played his best point guard game of the season with the exception of throwing it to Russ when we had the lead there at the break because Russ pays no attention to clock, time, score. He is just Pac Man. He just looks to gobble everything up and go to the rim. Outside of that he played terrific."

Pitino talks turnovers, defense
"Peyton we didn't show him the tape of the last game purposely, but today we spaced them real well. We got the ball inside when they came after us, and we were going to run a certain offense whether they were going to play man or zone. But what we did a very good job of because last night they had great confidence, we were going to take away the three point line, and we did a very good job of that. We felt if we took away the three point line when we got to the foul line and made our free throws, which we did not do, we were going to win the game."

Pitino on Russ Smith, Kuric
"This is the first game where Russ took all good shots that we played. But his mentality is contagious on everybody else because he has no fear. He's a 6'0" New York guard that has no fear. He's bailed us out of more difficult situations this year because of and I wanted Kyle to do that because he had so many open looks. He started hesitating and you can't hesitate. He also started taking NBA threes. Sometimes the lines here confuse you."

Kevin Willard on Gorgui Dieng
"Gorgui, they've done a tremendous job with him. He just sits back there and you go in there and he's got great timing. I voted for him for Defensive Player of the Year just because of the way he's played all year long. It was a big presence."

Siva on Marquette
"Marquette is a tough team. We played them tough at their place until the end. But like Coach P said, it starts with defense with us. As long as we continue to play defense and continue to get steals, then that's when we're at our best. When we just focus on offense and focus on that, then we play bad, we have our slumps. Right now just focusing on defense."

Postgame Notes

  • Louisville advances to face No. 2-seeded Marquette Thursday in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.
  • Louisville fell 74-63 to the Golden Eagles Jan. 16.
  • This year will be the second straight in which Louisville and Marquette meet in the BIG EAST quarterfinals.
  • The Cardinals were 81-56 winners in last year's meeting.
  • Louisville has won six of its last eight games in the BIG EAST Championship.
  • Louisville will make its fifth appearance in the BIG EAST quarterfinals in the past six years.
  • Louisville has won nine of its last 14 games in Madison Square Garden.
  • Louisville held Seton Hall to 55 points, matching the fewest by a Cardinal opponent in BIG EAST tournament history. The Cardinals held Providence and Villanova to 55 points in the quarterfinals and semifinals in 2009.
  • Tonight's game was the first between Louisville and Seton Hall in the BIG EAST Championship.
  • Louisville's nine turnovers matched its fewest in the Cardinals' BIG EAST tournament history. Louisville had nine turnovers against Notre Dame last year.
  • Seton Hall's Herb Pope had his 17th double-double of the season with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

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