Cards continue streak, defeat Pirates, 76-66

#8 Louisville defeated East Carolina in Greensville Thursday night to continue its twelve game winning streak.

The final score wasn't indicative of the way the game transpired in Greensville Thursday night.

Up ten at the break, 39-29, behind Francisco Garcia's nine first half points, #8 Louisville (12-1, 3-0) stormed out of the locker room to effectively put East Carolina (8-5, 0-3) away during the first four minutes of the second half.

Behind a 10-0 run to start the second half, the Cards jumped out in front of the Pirates, who played in front of a roudy, sold out Minges Coliseum, 48-28, to give them enough cushion to finish off a team who had defeated a top 15 ranked team the past two seasons.

From there, Louisville coasted in for its 12th straight victory after losing its season opener to Iowa, 70-69 in overtime in late November.

"We've got 12 wins in a row now, and we won on the road," said Francisco Garcia, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. "It's a big win. They've got a great crowd. They were in the game the whole 40 minutes."

The Cardinals, who rank among the top defensive teams in the nation, didn't shoot the ball particularly well from the floor, connecting on just 38 percent from the field, while the Pirates made 46 percent of their shots.

"Our whole game plan was to keep them out of the lane and we did that the first five minutes, after that we did not do that," Louisville assistant coach Kevin Willard said about the second half. "In this arena and in this type of atmosphere, the first five minutes was big for us."

Still, the Pirates never threatened Louisville, despite narrowing the Cards lead to eight in the last minute of the game.

"What we've got to get away from in this league is playing from behind," East Carolina coach Bill Herrion said. "You just expend so much energy playing from behind, these teams are just too talented."

Louisville was led by guards Taquan Dean and Larry O'Bannon who finished with 16 points each.

Once again, Lousiville won the battle of the boards, 42-37 and forced the Pirates into 16 turnovers. Pitino's troops also made 21-23 from the free throw line.

Derrick Wiley led East Carolina with 23 points.

Louisville (12-1)
Whitehead 4-13 1-2 9, Garcia 3-10 4-4 11, Dartez 1-7 3-3 5, Dean 3-6 7-7 16, O'Bannon 4-13 5-6 16, Jenkins 2-4 0-0 5, Mohammed 2-2 0-0 4, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Daniels 1-2 0-0 3, George 3-5 1-1 7. Totals 23-63 21-23 76.

East Carolina (8-5)
Wiley 9-19 4-4 23, Bing 3-6 2-4 9, Badiane 1-5 1-2 3, Rivers 3-7 0-0 9, McNeil 1-5 2-4 4, Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, Rouse 2-4 0-0 4, Cook 4-10 2-4 12, Grindley 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-58 11-18 66.

Halftime-Louisville 38-28. 3-Point goals-Louisville 9-28 (Dean 3-6, O'Bannon 3-10, Daniels 1-2, Jenkins 1-3, Garcia 1-6, Whitehead 0-1), East Carolina 7-17 (Rivers 3-6, Cook 2-4, Bing 1-2, Wiley 1-3, McNeil 0-1, Rouse 0-1). Fouled out-Garcia. Rebounds-Louisville 42 (Whitehead 10), East Carolina 37 (Bing 9). Assists-Louisville 13 (Whitehead 4), East Carolina 7 (McNeil 2). Total fouls-Louisville 21, East Carolina 20. A-7,553.


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