February 14, 2013

Game Day: Valentine's Day Special

St. John's vs. Louisville
Thursday, Feb. 14
9:00 p.m. ET
KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court,
Louisville, Ky. (22,000) (46-7, 3rd yr.)
Television: ESPN
Radio: WHAS (840)

Game Look
Louisville returns home after a pair on the road as the Cardinals face the St. John's Red Storm in the KFC Yum! Center on Valentine's Day this Thursday. After winning three straight, Louisville fell 101-104 in five overtimes at Notre Dame last Saturday in the longest game in UofL and BIG EAST history. St. John's (15-9, 7-5 BIG EAST Conference) has won six of its last eight games, but lost 58-77 at Syracuse last Sunday. Seven games remain in the regular season for the Cardinals, with three of the next five on the road and
the last two at home

  • St. John's (15-9, 7-5)
    14JaKarr SampsonF6-8204Fr.14.88.6
    2Mac-Antoine Bourgault F6-6198So.2.81.0
    1Phil Greene IV G6-2182So.8.93.0
    11D'Angelo Harrison G6-3 209So.18.34.4

    RESERVES: Jamal Branch, G, 6-3, So.; Marco Bourgault, G/F, 6-6, Jr.; God'sgift Achiuwa, F, 6-8, Sr.; Christian Jones, F, 6-7, Fr.; Chris Obekpa, F/C, 6-9, Fr.; Amir Garrett, G/F, 6-6, So.; David Lipscomb, G, 6-2, Fr.; Felix Balamou, G, 6-4, Fr.; Jamal White, G, 6-4, Sr.;Orlando Sanchez, F, 6-9, Sr.; Khadim Ndiaye, F, 6-6, So. Sam Sealy F 6-8 187 So.

    HEAD COACH: Steve Lavin (Chapman '88) 38-23 in 3rd yr. at St. John's/183-100 in 10th yr. overall

  • University of Louisville (19-5, 7-4)
    21Chane Behanan F6-6250So.11.27.5
    11Luke HancockF6-6200Jr.6.82.9
    10Gorgui DiengC6-11235Jr.9.49.9
    2Russ Smith G6-0165Jr.18.32.1
    2Peyton SivaG6-0185Sr.10.33.7

    RESERVES: Montrezl Harrell, F, 6-9, Fr.; Zach Price, C, 6-10, So.; Kevin Ware, G, 6-5, So.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, Jr.; Michael Baffour, G, 6-2, Fr.; Stephan Van Treese, C, 6-8, Sr.; Wayne Blackshear, G, 6-6, So.

    HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 293-111 in 12th season at UofL and 647-239 in 28th season as collegiate coach.

    About St. John's
    Louisville returns home after pair on the road as the Cardinals face St. John's on Thursday. The Red Storm (15-9, 7-5 BIG EAST Conference) have won six of its last eight games, but lost 58-77 at Syracuse last Sunday as JaKarr Sampson paced St. John's with 21 points and six rebounds. St. John's is second in the nation in blocked shots (7.6 bpg) and individually, Chris Obekpa is second nationally in blocks (4.3). D'Angelo Harrison is the Red Storm's top scorer (18.3 ppg).

    While Louisville is adept at forcing turnovers (19.0 per game), the Red Storm are committing just 11.3 per game, 23rd best in the nation. St. John's is No. 55 in the ratings percentage index and No. 70 in the Sagarin Ratings through games of Feb. 10.

    Louisville holds a 10-4 series advantage over St. John's since the teams first met in 1978. The Cardinals have won the last two and six of the last seven meetings, including a 73-58 victory in Madison Square Garden last year when Russ Smith scored 17 points and handed out seven assists to lead Louisville (1/3/12).

    Cards By Numbers
    3 - Louisville is third nationally in turnover margin (+6.3). The Cards have forced an average of 19.0 turnovers a game, scoring 567 of their 1793 points off turnovers (32%).

    2 -Louisville and Notre Dame are the only schools in the nation with each of its football and men's and women's basketball teams in the top 25 in the AP poll. (Louisville rankings: MBB 12, WBB 11, FB 13).

    3 - National rank for UofL in steals, averaging 10.8 per game. UofL has collected double digit steals in 18 of its 24 games. Two Cards rank among the national leaders: Russ Smith (2.1/game, 50th nationally) and Peyton Siva (2.1, 50th).

    3.41 - Collective grade point average for the men's basketball team for the 2012 fall semester, a school record. A total of 15 of 17 student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or better GPA and a dozen are above a 3.25 cumulative GPA. UofL has earned the last two BIG EAST Conference Team Academic Excellence Awards.

    20 - Louisville is one victory away from 20 for the season. UofL is one of nine Division I schools which have won 20 or more games each of the last 10 seasons (see p. 7).

    30 - Career-high scoring total for Chane Behanan at Notre Dame, adding 15 rebounds and two blocked shots for his 10th career double-double. He was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll this week. He ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in rebounding (7.5 rpg), 11th in field goal percentage (.500) and is 10th in steals (1.7 spg).

    19-5 Start For Cards
    Louisville's 19-5 record marks the fifth time the Cardinals have won at least 19 of their first 24 games under UofL Coach Rick Pitino, with the best start in the 2004-05 season when U of L started 20-4. The Cardinals were also 19-5 through 24 games last season. This season, UofL began 5-0 for the third consecutive year, the first time it has had three straight 5-0 starts since the 1949-52 seasons when the Cardinals won their first five in each of those years. UofL won its first 11 games last season and its initial eight games in 2010-11. Louisville's recent three-game skid was the first time it lost three straight since Jan. 11-21, 2010. Louisville has lost back-to-back games just 10 times over the last five seasons.

    Cards Fall in Five Overtime Battle

    Louisville fell 101-104 in five overtimes at Notre Dame on Feb. 9 in the longest game in both UofL and BIG EAST history. The Cardinals had previously played in four triple-overtime games, the last a 77-74 victory at Marquette on Feb. 24, 2001. The previously longest BIG EAST game was a 116-11 four overtime Notre Dame win over Georgetown on Feb. 9, 2002 -- 11 years to the day prior to the Cardinals' five OT game.

    It was the first game the Cardinals ever lost when scoring 100 points. Louisville has an all-time 104-1 record when hitting the century mark. It was the first time the Cards had allowed 100 points in a game since a 101-80 loss at Cincinnati on Feb. 22, 2003. Three Cardinals produced double-doubles in the game.

    Chane Behanan scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Russ Smith scored 21 points and pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng produced his 18th career double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Luke Hancock scored a career-high 22 points off the bench to give the Cardinals three players with over 20 points.

    Eight players fouled out, including four from each team. Louisville had held a 56-48 lead with 51 seconds remaining in regulation. The score was tied at 60-60 at the end of regulation. UofL held a lead in each of the overtime periods.

    The game lasted three hours and 36 minutes. Louisville scored a season-low 24 first-half points.

    Career Milestones
  • Peyton Siva moved up to second in career assists at UofL with four at Connecticut (594 total now) and is 119 behind all-time leader LaBradford Smith (1987-91, 713 assists). Siva is just the fourth player in Uof L history with 500 career assists and needs six for 600 in his career. Siva's 211 assists in 2011-12 were the second most ever in a UofL single season, 15 behind LaBradford Smith's 226 record assists total in 1989-90.

  • With two steals against Marquette, Siva moved up to fifth in career steals (214 now). Siva's 17 points vs. USF made him the 64th 1,000 point scorer for UofL (1,060 now, No. 56 at UofL). Siva grabbed his 300th career rebound at Villanova.

  • Russ Smith has 150 steals for his career (50 in 24 games this year, 2.1 average). His 87 steals last season set a new UofL record. Smith scored is 73 points short of 1,000 career points.

  • Gorgui Dieng passed 600 career rebounds with eight against Syracuse. He needs 13 points for 700 in his career. Dieng blocked his 200th career shot against Providence when he had four rejections.

  • Chane Behanan scored his 600th career point against Marquette.

    Cards Lead in BIG EAST Wins
    Louisville is tied for the most BIG EAST Conference victories over the last six years during the regular season (since 2006-07), posting a 82-35 record (Syracuse is 82-34). Since the 2005-06 season when the Cards first joined the BIG EAST, Louisville (88-45) is just behind Syracuse (89-43) in league victories during the regular season, with both schools ahead of next-in-line Pittsburgh (86-45). UofL has won or finished second in the BIG EAST on three occasions.

    Series vs. St. John's
    Louisville holds a 10-4 series advantage over St. John's since the teams first met in 1978. The Cardinals have won the last two and six of the last seven meetings.

    Last year in Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn native Russ Smith scored 17 points and handed out seven assists to lead Louisville to a 73-58 victory over St. John's (1/3/12). D'Angelo Harrison scored 24 points to pace the Red Storm, which shot just 28.1 percent from the field for the game.

    On St. John's last visit to the KFC Yum! Center, U of L won 88-63 when the Cardinals hit 53.2 percent of their shots, 13-of-26 three-pointers, and forced 25 Red Storm turnovers (1/19/11). Preston Knowles scored 25 points -- his second highest of the season -- Kyle Kuric scored 20, and Peyton Siva added 10 points and 10 assists for Louisville. Paris Horne led the Red Storm with 13 points. ƒ The teams have met in tournament competition twice.

    In the first meeting between the two schools, Louisville beat St. John's 76-68 in the first round of the 1978 NCAA Mideast Region in Tulsa, Okla. (3/12/78). Early in its 1986 NCAA Championship season, U of L fell 86-79 to St. John's in the consolation game of the preseason 1985 Big Apple NIT (12/1/85) at Madison Square Garden.

  • U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 10-4 record against St. John's (6-2 at Louisville, 3-2 at Providence, and 1-0 at Kentucky when his team beat St. John's 86-77 in the ECAC Holiday Festival on Dec. 30, 1992).

  • U of L faced UCLA three times when it was coached by current St. John's Coach Steve Lavin, with Lavin owning a 2-1 advantage in those games (74-71 U of L win on 1/25/97; 88-82 UCLA win on 1/25/98; 82-70 UCLA win on 1/23/99).

    Cardinals Hail from New York Area
    A pair of Louisville players have ties to the New York area. Russ Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y., Archbishop Malloy HS/South Kent School) and Kevin Ware (Bronx, N.Y.) hail from the New York area. U of L trainer Fred Hina was the head trainer for the New York Mets for seven years prior to joining the Cardinal staff in 2001. New York natives have been major contributors to Cardinal Basketball in past years. Rodney and Scooter McCray, from Mt. Vernon, N.Y., helped the Cardinals reach three NCAA Final Fours during their years at Louisville (1978-83). Rodney is one of just five Cardinals to reach both 1,000 points
    and rebounds (1,247 pts., 1,029 reb.).

    Swat Leaders
    Thursday's game will include the top two shot blockers in BIG EAST games. In league games, St. John's Chris Obekpa leads the BIG EAST averaging 3.2 blocks while Louisville's Gorgui Dieng is second at 2.9 rejections. Dieng has six less swats than Obekpa in league play in one less game.

    Card File
  • Gorgui Dieng has produced a double-double in five of 11 BIG EAST games this season, including totaling 17 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals against Notre Dame in his last game. For conference games only, he is second in the league in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and blocked shots (2.9 bpg).

  • Dieng has led UofL in rebounding in 13 of his 17 games this season.

  • Louisville's 51.9 percent field goal accuracy against Marquette was its fifth game this season to shoot 50 percent or better.

  • The Cardinals limited Marquette to 35.8 percent shooting from the field and held Rutgers to 32 percent. UofL has held 12 of its opponents below 40 percent accuracy from the field this season.

  • Louisville held Georgetown to just 20 points in the second half, the sixth time this season the Cardinals have held an opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half.

  • Louisville has outscored its opponent's bench in 17 of 24 games this season and has committed fewer turnovers than its foe in 23 of 24 games. (all but vs. Duke). UofL has had single-digit turnovers in four games, including nine against Syracuse.

  • Peyton Siva has made 23 of his last 25 free throw attempts over the last 13 games and ranks third in the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.869).

  • Russ Smith has scored in double digits in all but two games this season (8 pts. vs. USF and Villanova). Smith scored 21 points at Notre Dame, his 11th game this season with 20 or more points. He has led the team in scoring in 14 of Louisville's 24 games and averages 18.3 per game, second in the BIG EAST.

  • Russ Smith has a steal in 61 of 79 career games.

  • Peyton Siva has handed out six or more assists in 13 of the Cardinals 24 games, including dishing out at least 10 on five occasions this year. He had a career-high 13 assists at Villanova and has 11 assists with just three turnovers in his last two games.

  • UofL was down 10 in the first half at Connecticut and trailed 28-34 at halftime. Louisville has rallied from nine or more points down to win on 16 occasions over the last three years, including four times this year.

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