Dean looks to stay hot against Morehead State

No. 18 Louisville (8-2) will look to build on its Minardi Classic Tournament championship Monday night at home against the Morehead State Eagles (6-3).

Coming off a difficult week, Louisville is showing some resilience as it continues a seven-game homestand Monday against Morehead State.

The No. 18 Cardinals (8-2) lost a heartbreaker to eighth-ranked Kentucky and suffered injuries to their two leading rebounders last week. Yet they persevered to win two straight, including a 77-49 rout of Austin Peay on Wednesday for their third straight Billy Minardi Classic title.

``We've weathered a very difficult storm,'' Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. ``I'm really proud of our guys because they've hung in there through all of the tough breaks. They didn't hang their heads after a tremendous defeat. They said, 'OK, let's turn the page and move on.''

Taquan Dean scored 16 points and Ellis Myles had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals, who overcame a shaky first half in which they shot 39 percent and had 12 turnovers. They came back after the break to shoot 52 percent.

Dean, a junior guard who averages a team-best 16.4 points, said the Cardinals came out of the locker room still thinking about blowing a 16-point second-half lead in a 60-58 loss to Kentucky on Dec. 18.

``When we come into the second half now, it seems like we have a chip on our shoulder,'' said Dean, the tournament MVP after averaging 18 points and 4.5 assists. ``We learned a great lesson losing to UK. We don't want to have that feeling again.''

Myles, who is averaging 11.1 points and 9.9 rebounds, sat out Tuesday's 80-60 win over IUPUI with a tight hamstring. Otis George is expected to be out two to four weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot.

Louisville looks for its 10th straight victory over Morehead State (6-3) in the first meeting between the teams in seven years.

The Eagles have not played since a 73-58 victory over Taylor on Dec. 21. Chad McKnight went 8-for-10 from the field and finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds. The senior forward paces the team with 17.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Josh Reed and Quinton Smith add 10.3 and 10.1 points, respectively, for Morehead State, which has split its last four games and plays five of its next six on the road.

The Cardinals lead the series 27-11 and have won 20 of 22 games in Louisville.

Inside The Ville is a syndicated partner of Yahoo! Sports.

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