Cardinals senior guard Russ Smith scored a career-high 42 points, including 5-of-7 three-pointers and 9-of-10 free throws. He poured in 27 in the first half, establishing a new school record for points in a half. The 42 points is the most-ever scored by a Cardinal in tournament play, surpassing the previous mark of 36 points set by Junior Bridgeman in 1975.
In recent weeks Smith has continuously displayed an assortment of outstanding performances. He connected on 6-of-6 three-pointers in an important road win at SMU. On Senior Day, he attempted only two shots, but handed a career-best 13 assists in a blowout victory over Connecticut. He had 16 points and 5 assists in the quarterfinals win.
Smith climbed three spots on Louisville's all-time scoring list with his performance on Saturday night. With 1,837 career points, Smith passed former greats LaBradford Smith, Derek Smith and Milt Wagner and into 5th place and climbing.
The former two-star, lightly-recruited prospect from the streets on New York City is now one of the elite's in Louisville's 100-year history.
"A great story," said U of L Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino. "A skinny, scrawny kid from Brooklyn to a big, strong, tough 42-point score in an amazing performance."