It was as close to a must-win as the University of Louisville basketball team has had this season on Sunday.
And the Cardinals came through.
"Our first half defense was the best we've played all year," U of L coach Rick Pitino said. "We rotated beautifully and did a lot of good things. To be honest with you, we got tired and we fatigued. . . . But it was a really good basketball game for us."
The Cardinals had lost two of its past four games but move to 14-3 on the season and 3-1 in American Athletic Conference play. SMU is 11-4 and 1-2 in league play.
U of L hit 25 of 53 from the field, including 10 of 23 three-point field goals. The Cardinals were just 11 of 21 from the free-throw line.
SMU outrebounded U of L 48-35 but hit just 2 of 11 from three-point range.
The Cardinals are back in action on Thursday night when they host Houston.
Cardinal Authority will keep updating this file with stories from the game:
A look at a few key moments from a 71-63 win over SMU.
LINK: SMU victory - Key moments
From the locker room - Cards down SMU.
LINK: VIDEO: Louisville beats SMU