Clark leads Cards past Jackson State

Earl Clark scored 20 points to lead Louisville (2-0) to an 84-53 win over Jackson State Sunday in the second round of the Findlay Las Vegas Invitational.

Earl Clark scored 20 points to lead Louisville (2-0) to an 84-53 win over Jackson State Sunday in the second round of the Findlay Las Vegas Invitational.

The Cardinals won their second game in as many days and now prepare for a three-game stretch in Las Vegas later this week.

"Both teams played a little sluggish at times," Rick Pitino said. "Playing back-to-back games is very difficult. We did what we had to do. As Bill Russell says the only that statistic that matters is the `W' and we got the `W' so we are happy about that."

Clark, Louisville's leading scorer against Jackson State, also had 14 rebounds and seven assists. Andre McGee continued his excellent play and scored 18 points for the second straight day. Derrick Caracter finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Louisville starting center David Padgett didn't play in the second half Sunday after bruising his knee in the first half. Pitino said the 6'11 senior should be ready to go in Las Vegas.

"This was the second time in a week he's banged his knee, he missed a lot of practice last week and banged again," Pitino said. "It swells up when it gets banged on. Anytime he gets banged it flares up like that. I think he will be fine by time we get to Las Vegas. Its not an injury it is just a bruise."

After making a school-record 22 three-pointers Saturday against Hartford, the Cardinals shooting cooled against an athletic Jackson State squad. Louisville made 6 of 23 three's and shot just 43 percent overall from the floor.

Next up for Louisville is UNLV on Wednesday. The Cardinals then will face BYU in the Las Vegas Invitational Friday and could play North Carolina on Saturday.

"We did this to try and make ourselves tougher," Pitino said of this week's tour through Las Vegas. "If I had my druthers right now I wouldn't do it. I did it for a reason. I thought Tello (Palacios) would be here and David Padgett would be healthy. So we're going to play a true road game against a very tough basketball team. These 3 games are against teams that are outstanding. BYU is a nightmare to defend, UNLV is very difficult at the defensive end, and North Carolina is North Carolina so it's going to be quite a test. We didn't play bad but we can't play those teams like we played these two games."


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