Cards hope to continue momentum against Marquette

#25 Louisville (19-7, 9-6) travels north to face Marquette (16-10, 7-8) this afternoon.

Date Saturday, March 6, 2004
Time/Location 1:30 p.m. / Bradley Center (19,150)
Television CBS
Radio WHAS (840 AM)
Series History Louisville leads 31-22
U of L Ranking 25th AP/ 24rd ESPN/USA Today
Officials Steve Welmer, Gerald Boudreaux, Rick Randall

When Marquette came to Louisville on the last day of January, all was right on Planet Red.

The Cardinals were cruising along, owners of a 16 game winning streak and a top five national ranking.

But the winning streak and U of L's momentum ended that day, as Steve Novak poured in 31-points, mostly from behind the arch to hand Louisville its first loss since its season opener to Iowa, 77-70.

In the first matchup, the difference was Marquette's outsiding shooting. While Novak and Marquette made 11 three point shots, the Cards managed just 5 on 34 attempts. Still, Louisville made several runs during the second half and had chances to win down the stretch.

From that point, though, both Louisville and Marquette have struggled on the court, though U of L appears to have gotten back on track with wins over Memphis and Saint Louis in its past two game. While Louisville lost five of their next seven games after the January 31st game, Marquette dropped its next four and have lost five of their last eight.

But Louisville's Rick Pitino still says this is a dangerous Marquette team.

"They're not a different team," Pitino said. "They're the same team that we've played. They've five or six players back from a Final Four team and they're the type of team that could go in next week and win the conference tournament."

As for Novak, Pitino said his team defended well the first time around, and credited Novak for a superb offensive performance.

"Watching it you just have to credit him for being in the zone because we played good defense on him," Pitino said. "We jammed him, we challenged his shots and he just had one of those night where everything goes in."

Coming off an impressive performance against Saint Louis Wednesday night, Louisville will look to continue building on its new found momentum heading into next week's C-USA tournament in Cincinnati.

"We feel like we're back to playing the way we were," Otis George said. "So we feel good."

Probable Starting Lineups

Louisville (19-7,  9-6) Ht Wt Yr PPG RPG Hometown
F Otis George 6-8 230 Jr 5.5 5.1 Roseau, Dominica
F Francisco Garcia 6-7 185 So 15.5 4.8 Bronx, NY
C Kendall Dartez 6-10 225 Sr 5.7 4.8 Houston, TX
G Taquan Dean 6-3 185 So 10.7 4.0 Neptune, NJ
G Alhaji Mohammed 6-3 200 Sr 4.5 1.8 Chicago, IL

Reserves: 6'7 Luke Whitehead  11.5, 8.3, 6'4 Larry O'Bannon 11.0, 2.8, 6'7 Nate Daniels 6.1, 2.0, 6'3 Brandon Jenkins 3.1, 1.7

Marquette (16-10, 7-8) Ht Wt Yr PPG RPG Hometown
F Scott Merritt 6-10 245 Sr 12.1 7.0 Wauwatosa, WI
F Steve Novak 6-9 215 So 12.5 4.8 Brown Deer, WI
C Terry Sanders 6-8 225 Sr 6.3 4.5 Milwaukee, WI
G Dameon Mason 6-5 180 Fr 8.4 4.6 Aurora, IL
G Travis Diener 6-1 165 Jr 18.7 3.1 Fond du Lac, WI

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