Louisville gets 'big-time' win at UConn

It was a long day for the University of Louisville basketball team, but a very successful one for the Cardinals. U of L traveled to Connecticut on the morning of the game and handed the Huskies a 76-64 loss on Saturday night. The Cardinals then traveled back home with a three-game winning streak and 16-3 mark overall.

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino opted to take his team up on the day of the game and return just after a 9 o'clock contest at Connecticut.

As it turns out, the day was long but very positive for the Cardinals.

Louisville led for much of the game, opened as much as a 16-point lead and decked Connecticut 76-64 for a key road victory on Saturday night.

"A great road win," said Pitino, whose team won for a third straight time since losing to Memphis. "A great road victory. This was big-time for us."

Louisville is now 16-3 on the season and 5-1 – along in second-place – in the American Athletic Conference. U of L's next game will be on Wednesday night against South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

But for now, this one was impressive.

U of L held UConn to 35.2 percent from the field, outrebounded the Huskies 45-30 and hit 26 of 57 from the field and 22 of 31 free throws in the game.

"This was a great collective effort," Pitino said. "We have been working extremely hard and the guys are getting confidence."

Russ Smith scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half as U of L beat UConn for the eighth time in the past nine meetings.

Montrezl Harrell had his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Luke Hancock had 10 points and Wayne Blackshear chipped in nine points for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals played a second straight game without point guard Chris Jones, who is suffering from a strained oblique muscle in his right side.

"We are starting to play good basketball," Pitino said. "Our defense has picked up, our rebounding has picked up. We're playing good basketball."

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