Recap: Louisville decks Florida State, 81-59

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The University of Louisville basketball team played one of its best all-around performances of the season on Saturday afternoon, decking Florida State 81-59 in the Tucker Center. The Cardinals are now 23-6 on the season and 11-5 in ACC play.

The University of Louisville basketball team shook off a tough week and then played one of its best games of the season on Saturday.

The Cardinals had five players in double figures, finished with 20 assists on 31 made baskets and had 37 deflections on defense in an 81-59 win over Florida State.

Wayne Blackshear scored 18 points and Montrezl Harrell added 16 points to lead the Cardinals. Anton Gill hit all five of his shots and had 14 as the bench scored 22.

Louisville closed February with three straight wins after losing two in a row. It was the second game since point guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team.

The Cardinals led 36-26 at halftime and led by as many as 26 points in the second half. The Seminoles missed their first nine shots of the game and never led.

Louisville forced 21 turnovers and had 10 steals. The Cardinals got 10 points, nine rebunds and six steals from Terry Rozier and 11 points and four assists from Quentin Snider.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

U of L coach Rick Pitino said he told senior Wayne Blackshear he wanted 60 percent of his touches on the offensive end of the floor to be in the paint.

And Blackshear responded with an aggressive effort. He finished with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.

Blackshear had a dunk and several other layups in his 7 of 13 effort. He was 2 of 6 from three-point range and hit both of his free throws.

"I feel like I have to step up," he said. "And coach has really been getting on me about driving and getting paint touches."

Blackshear had 12 points in the second half and all 18 in the final 24 minutes.

A GILL SIGHTING

Sophomore Anton Gill had combined for just 15 total points in every game since Jan. 1 until he hit for 14 against the Seminoles.

Gill was 5-for-5 and hit all four of his three-pointers before fouling out in 12 minutes. He also had a turnover but no other statistics.

"When you hit the first one, the rim looks a lot bigger," Terry Rozier said. "He's been working hard and we need another guard to step up. It's going to be Anton."

Gill had only scored in seven games since his only other double-digit performance of the season, a 15-point effort on Dec. 5 against Florida International.

THE KEY RUN

U of L jumped out to a quick lead and never trailed as the Seminoles missed their first nine shots, but the key run was in the second half.

Florida State was seemingly hanging around until an 18-1 run that was sparked by Blackshear, who had two three-pointers and a dunk in the surge.

The lead went from 46-37 to 64-38 and the Seminoles were never in it again.

THEY SAID IT

U of L head coach Rick Pitino

"This is probably the best team performance (of the season)."

"We're a different team than we were a week ago, but still a very good one. I really liked the way we played all around."

U of L guard Terry Rozier

"Anton is a scorer. I've seen him do it before. We were in the gym until after 2 in the morning the other night and I told him to just keep shooting it."

A FEW LEFTOVERS

*****Freshman Quentin Snider has 30 points and 12 assists while committing just five turnovers in the three games without Chris Jones.

*****Rick Pitino now has a 13-game winning streak against teams from the state of Florida with the only loss during his time at U of L the South Floria debacle on Senior Night during the 2011-12 season.

*****Montrezl Harrell has 60 dunks this season and now has 201 for his career. He set the school record earlier this season.

*****The 20 assists for U of L mark the second highest of the season. The Cardinals had 21 against Florida International.

*****U of L shot 31 of 64 from the field and 11 of 18 from the line.

*****The Cardinals had 10 steals and 14 turnovers and the rebounding battle ended up at 35-35 for the game.


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