UofL blew out to a 50-17 halftime lead and never looked back in an 83-43 victory Saturday over the Sycamores on the first day of the Marques Maybin Classic in front of 18,924 fans at Freedom Hall.
The 11th-ranked Cards, who shot just 26.8 percent in that 68-54 loss to the Hilltoppers on Sunday, shot 60.6 percent (20 for 33) in the first half against Indiana State.
"We played a terrific first half and fed off great execution defensively," UofL coach Rick Pitino said. "Our pressure was real good and that fed our offense."
Junior forward Earl Clark led Louisville with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Terrence Williams tallied 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Freshman center Samardo Samuels added 11 points and Edgar Sosa chipped in with 10 points and five assists, all in the first half.
Afterward, though, the mood in the UofL locker room was subdued to say the least.
"That was a good win, but we're still not over that Western Kentucky game," Sosa said. "Coach P tells us every day he's not over that game and he's not going to get over it for awhile."
Pitino shook up the starting lineup, giving freshman Kyle Kuric the nod at shooting guard and Jerry Smith the start at point guard in an attempt to get more rebounding.
The Cards had plenty of fire both on the backboards (they outrebounded the Sycamores 45-34), and out of the gates.
Louisville bolted to a 7-0 lead as Samuels scored inside, T-Will followed with a three, then Smith scored on a layup off of a steal by Williams.
"We lost the last game before this one and everyone was anxious to play," Williams said. "We had a good week of practice and I think everybody was pumped up and ready to play."
UofL hit six of its first nine shots to jump out to a 14-2 lead and led 23-5 midway through the first half.
The Cards didn't let up. The Sycamores (0-6) didn't reach double figures until 2:32 remained in the first half, and by that time UofL had 38 points.
Sosa's coast-to-coast layup just before the halftime buzzer gave UofL a 50-17 lead at intermission.
Clark had 11 points at the break for the Cards, who outscored the Sycamores 19-0 in points off of turnovers and 12-0 in fast-break points in the first half.
For Indiana State, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its national runner-up finish, Larry Bird wasn't walking through that door.
The second half wasn't as crisp for the Cards, but their lead dipped below 30 points for just 49 seconds.
About the only thing left for the Cards was to see if sophomore guard Preston Knowles would play. At halftime Pitino said that Knowles had a back injury that kept him out of some practice this week. Knowles checked in late in the game and played nine scoreless minutes. Knowles, though, showed no ill effects from the back injury and if anything he was more aggressive than usual, setting hard screens and picking up two fouls.
Jay Tunnell and Brant Leitnaker each paced Indiana State with nine points.
The Cards host Ohio at 4 p.m. Sunday in the second of three games in the Classic as they continue to try and wash the taste of Western Kentucky out of their collective mouth.
"We had four great days of practice this week and last week we had four horrible days of practice and I truly believe you get what you deserve," Pitino said.