Cards get much-needed 'W' over SMU

Three days after a loss to Memphis, the University of Louisville gained a much-needed 71-63 win over SMU on Sunday. Luke Hancock and Russ Smith scored 23 points apiece to lead the Cardinals, who now have a 14-3 record.

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.

Russ Smith scored 23 points and Luke Hancock added a career-high 23 as the Cardinals raced to a 17-point lead and held on for a 71-63 victory over SMU at the KFC Yum! Center.

"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

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