"I am real proud of our guys, especially David Padgett, he has had to work so hard to get back on the floor, he is a terrific young man and a great leader," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino. "David was tremendous tonight. He's now feeling about as good as he's felt. "
"I just felt comfortable out there," said Padgett. "I was trying to be as active as I could on both ends of the court."
Louisville opened the game on an 11-0 run and after seeing the host Bearcats pull within two at 21-19 with less than six minutes remaining in the first half, the Cardinals responded with a 12-0 spurt to close the opening half and held a 33-19 lead at the break.
"The first half we were brilliant," said Pitino. "In the second half we stood around a little bit and did to much one-on-one, but we were brilliant in the first half."
After dominating the first 20 minutes of action, in which the visitors held UC to 24% shooting and scoring 12 points off of 7 turnovers, the Cardinals seemed to struggle at times and saw their double-digit lead, which grew to 21 points early in the second half, slowly evaporated.
10 second half turnovers by Louisville helped Cincinnati make a comeback attempt. The Bearcats reduced the Cardinals margin to ten with under three minutes to play. However, just as it did late in the first half, U of L responded by outscoring UC 9-3 during the games final two minutes.
Forward Juan Palacios nearly gave Rick Pitino three double-double performers, scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
The win is Louisville's 11th in it's last 13 outings and kept the Cardinals (16-6; 6-2) tied with Marquette for second place in the Big East Conference. U of L will next travel to Philadelphia to face conference foe Villanova on Saturday.