Rick Pitino said a trip to Miami was going to be a business trip for his University of Louisville men's basketball team.
After three spirited practices, the Cardinals also picked up their first true road win of the season on Saturday night.
U of L didn't play its best all-around game but in spurts was solid, running away from Florida International 85-56 before about 3,000 fans in a loud U.S. Central Bank Arena.
The Cardinals hit 13 of 24 three-point field goals, had all 11 players in the scoring column and had 20 assists on 26 made field goals.
"We didn't play great basketball tonight, but we played good offense," Pitino said. "We were a little inept at times on defense, but offensively we did a good job in sharing the basketball and making sure that we did the right things to attack their changing defenses."
Russ Smith led the way with 18 points, while Wayne Blackshear added 13 as the Cardinals (11-1) won a sixth straight game. U of L will remain in Miami until Monday, preparing for next Saturday's game in Lexington against rival Kentucky.
"It's a big game, but all rivalry games are big," Russ Smith said. "We just have to stay focused and be prepared. We can't get too caught up in all the rivalry stuff."
U of L never trailed in the game and used a 9-0 run late in the first half to open the lead after the Panthers had cut a 13-point deficit to 30-25 late in the first half.
The Cardinals hit eight three-pointers in the second half as the lead swelled.
Montrezl Harrell, who had a dunk at the buzzer in the first half, finished with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Chane Behanan had nine points, five rebounds and four assists, while Mangok Mathiang had six points and seven rebounds.
"It's a win and we'll take it," Pitino said.