Rozier comes up huge against Bearcats

CINCINNATI - University of Louisville freshman guard Terry Rozier has played well most of the season. But on Saturday, Rozier had a huge game on the road as the Cardinals edged Cincinnati 58-57. Cardinal Authority spoke with Rozier after the game.

Terry Rozier had a little extra bounce in his step on Saturday when Louisville played at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.

And for good reason.

Rozier had 12 family members, including his mother and grandmother, watching from just behind the U of L bench. He's from the Cleveland-area and said "it was great to have them here."

The freshman guard sure put on a show for his family, coming up huge in U of L's 58-57 victory over the Bearcats in a key AAC game.

"He was real big," said senior Russ Smith, who hit the game-winning jumper off a pass from Rozier. "He's just so smooth and steady.:

Rozier hit 5 of 8 from the field, including 1 of 2 from three-point range, and finished with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and no turnovers in 22 minutes. On the final play, Rozier had a shot but said it was going to be contested, so he found Smith.

"That was a big play for us," U of L coach Rick Pitino said. "He made a good play."

Rozier said when Pitino called the final play he didn't think it would be him open.

"But when I was on the wing, he was screaming, 'Get open, Get Open'," Rozier recalled. "When he started to drive, I lifted up and was kind of wide open for a three. I went in a bit but I saw two guys committed, so I passed to Russ.

"I was worried a little when I did it that he didn't have much time left. But luckily, we had enough time left and he hit a big-time shot."

Rozier has now scored in double figures in three straight games and in that stretch has also played 20-plus minutes. He has just 15 turnovers this season in 536 total minutes of play.

"I have been doing pretty good the last couple of games, I just want to keep going," Rozier said. "All of my teammates and coaches are helping me out and I just want to keep going and keep getting better."

Pitino said Rozier has improved over the year and is "not your typical" freshman because he spent a year at prep school.

On this day, Pitino said "Terry was great, Terry was really great."

Rozier, who credits his mother for him being more mature than a typical kid his age, said he doesn't feel like a freshman.

"Age and freshman don't mean anything to me," he said. "That's just from the way I was brought up. I didn't have much, had to do it on my own, and I think that's made me like that.

"I just want to keep doing this with my teammates. It's fun."

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