Louisville rolls past Ohio

No. 11 Louisville built on a strong performance against Indiana State by whipping Ohio, 91-56, Sunday afternoon in the second of three games in the Marques Maybin Classic.

Ohio University came in with an outstanding three-point shooting percentage, but it was Louisville that was lights out from long range Sunday.

The Cardinals connected on 11 of their 23 trifecta tries, including 8 of 14 in the first half, on their way to a 91-56 win over the Bobcats in front of 19,083 fans on the second day of the Marques Maybin Classic.

"We always shot great at home, we've got some great shooters on this team...today we were finally able to show it," junior forward Earl Clark said.

Clark scored 17 points, on 7 of 11 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead 11th-ranked Louisville (4-1) to its second straight blowout victory.

Freshman center Samardo Samuels added 19 points, 14 in the second half, and junior guard Jerry Smith tallied 16 points for the Cards.

"Besides playing a great basketball game, we played a very intelligent basketball game...our best, by far, of the season," UofL coach Rick Pitino said.

Indeed, the Cards excelled in nearly every facet of the game. They shot 51.6 percent from the field (33 of 64), outrebounded the Bobcats 46-26 and all but one player (Jared Swopshire) scored.

Samardo Samuels started slowly but finished
with 19 points. (AP)

Ohio (3-3), which was picked to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference East in the preseason poll of coaches, media and MAC sports information directors, came in shooting 45.8 percent from three-point range (the Bobcats were second nationally in that category after their first three games).

But it was UofL that looked the part.

"It was certainly the best I've seen them shoot the ball from three-point range," Ohio coach John Groce said. "Guys stepped up and made shots. I thought they moved the ball well. They present you with that dilemma where you have to deal with Samuels inside. So their size and athleticism around the basket, then couple with their three-point shooting - the way they were shooting the basketball - made them very difficult to defend."

Smith jump-started UofL early, scoring the first seven points, including a three one minute and 15 seconds into the game.

The Bobcats battled back to take the lead briefly at 12-10, but the Cards scored the next 11 points, nine on three-pointers. Preston Knowles, who missed some practice time this week because of a sore back and only played nine minutes Saturday in the win over Indiana State, hit back-to-back three-pointers, then Andre McGee connected on another from long range.

"Jerry was hitting and Preston was hitting, that just got the other guys going," said junior Edgar Sosa, who responded to getting the start by scoring nine points and dishing out three assists.

UofL led 26-19 a little more than midway through the second half before the Cards closed with an 18-8 surge to lead 44-27 at intermission. UofL hit three threes during that run as Reginald Delk hit his first three of the season, followed by long-range bombs from Clark and Will Scott.

Clark nearly had a double-double in the first half with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Smith had 10 points.

If the first half was all about the three-point for UofL the early part of the second half was all about Samuels. He scored 14 of the Cards' first 16 second-half points and went on a 12-2 run against the Bobcats by himself as Clark and Samuels worked the high-low game to perfection.

"The last two games we've played we were 2 for 22 in challenged shots...what we wanted to do tonight, because this team is a Top 20 in defending the three-point shot was ball fake, make the extra pass and go inside," Pitino said.

About the only drama of the second half was to see if all the UofL players would score. Terrence Williams missed two free throws to remain scoreless midway through the second half. That prompted UofL women's star Angel McCoughtry, who was sitting near the Cards' basket, to yell to T-Will: "Two hundred free throws tonight!"

T-Will eventually hit a three and added a free throw to finish with four points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists and six turnovers.

Jerome Tillman scored 21 points to lead Ohio, which was held to 26.3 shooting (5 of 19) from three-point range by UofL, which entered the weekend fourth nationally in three-point field goal defense.

The Cards wrap up play in the Maybin Classic when they face Lamar at 7 p.m. Monday night.

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