The Cardinals lost all three games in the Garden last season and New York's biggest stage wasn't any kinder to Louisville this season. Arizona led by nine at the half 44-35, but came out cold in the second half, making just one of their first 18 shots while Louisville took a 50-49 lead with less than 14 minutes to play.
But Louisville faltered down the stretch as Arizona went on a 20-2 run during the second half to take control of the game. Ivan Radenoic led Arizona with 22 points and 13 rebounds and proved too much for Louisville to handle.
"I am really happy with my guys," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "I see great potential in this basketball team and if we continue to grow we are going to be an outstanding basketball team. I am not happy with the loss, but I am happy with our potential."
Juan Palacios led the Cardinals with 15 points, while sophomore Terrence Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 10 boards. Louisville out-rebounded Arizona 47-36, but couldn't capitalize because of poor shooting from the floor, making just 4-17 three pointers in the first half and 6-21 for the game.
Derrick Caracter scored nine points and hauled down seven rebounds in 11 minutes, but fouled out with more than ten minutes left in the game. Caracter made his debut after sitting out the Cardinals first three games.
"He has great potential," Pitino said. "He has a bad habit of reaching in all of the time instead of moving his feet. ... Once he learns to play defense and his defense catches up to his offense he can be one of the most lethal weapons any coach can have. He has fabulous hands. He is a good passer. He is very agile for a big man and he has great potential. He has to put in his defensive work and it is going to take time because he has never played defense before."
Louisville will play three home games this weekend, beginning Friday night at Freedom Hall against Ohio. The Cards will play St. Joseph's Saturday and Bellermine Sunday in the NABC Classic.