December 28, 2013

Cards fall to Cats 73-66

Louisville guards Russ Smith and Chris Jones combined for 37 points, but it wasn't enough as the Cards fell to rival Kentucky 73-66 on Saturday at Rupp Arena.

In a game that featured seven lead changes, the Louisville guards received virtually no other help in dropping their second game of the season.

The Cards featured just two scorers in double figures and hit just 66% of their free throws.

Key Stats
  • Russ Smith scored 19 points but was just 5 of 10 from the foul line for Louisville (11-2), which failed to capitalize after rallying from the halftime hole.

  • Chris Jones added 18 points for the Cardinals, who missed their second chance to beat a top-25 school.

  • Kentucky guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison combined for 28 points, including 11 during a critical second-half stretch with star Julius Randle sidelined by cramps

  • Louisville began the game with an 8-0 run, including a pair of 3-point baskets by Chris Jones.

  • Julius Randle had 17 points and three rebounds, all coming in the first half. He has scored in double figures in all 13 games this season. Persistent leg cramping limited him to just four minutes in the second half.

  • Tied at 53, UK had a 13-3 spurt to go up 66-56 - largest lead of the game -- forcing a pair of Cardinal timeouts.

    Three Points
  • Louisville's Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Luke Hancock and Montrezl Harrell combined for just 19 total points.

  • The Cards made just 6-of-26 shots from the outside shooting a three-point field goal percentage of 26.1 percent.

  • Chane Behanan led Louisville with 7 rebounds. Two players from Kentucky - Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young each had 10.

    UCF Awaits Next
    Louisville will play its first conference game of the season and embark on its first game in the new American Athletic Conference when the Cardinals play at UCF in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 31 (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2). It will be the first conference game played in the new league, with two others following that evening.

    The Knights (8-3) are off for nine days following two games in the Jackson Hewitt UCF Holiday Classic. UCF has won its last five games -- all at home -- including a 90- 62 victory over Valparaiso on Dec. 22 as Tristan Spurlock led UCF with 22 points. Four Knights are averaging double digits in scoring, led by senior guards Calvin Newell (14.8 ppg) and Isaiah Sykes (13.9 ppg). UCF is 7-1 in home games this season.

    Louisville won its only previous meeting against UCF 78-58 in Louisville's Freedom Hall (12/15/99) as Tony Williams led the Cards with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Williams participated in the UofL 2013 Fall Commencement ceremony after recently returning to complete his collegiate degree after 11 years of professional basketball in Turkey, Italy, France and Lebanon.

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