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January 12, 2013

Siva scores 1,000 as Cards roll USF

Louisville walloped visiting South Florida 64-38 Saturday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center. CardinalSports.com's Howie Lindsey was on the baseline for the game to bring fans five quick observations from the win.

Senior point guard Peyton Siva came into the game needing 13 points to reach 1,000 for his career. Siva got those 13 points in the first half against USF. He was 5 of 6 shooting, including three three-pointers, with a rebound, an assist and two steals in 17 minutes the first half. Siva continued to play well in the second half as well. He finished with 17 points.

Louisville has 64 players in school history with 1,000 or more points, second most in the country behind North Carolina. The top 10 scorers in Louisville history have all scored more than 1,600 points with the leader being Darrell Griffith's remarkable four-year total of 2,333 points.

Chane Behanan was scheduled to be out with an ankle injury for 7 to 10 days. Instead, he returned after missing one game. And boy, did he ever return.

Behanan scored seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the first half against USF Saturday. He single-handedly out-rebounded USF 12-10 - in just 11 minutes. Behanan didn't start, but entered the game at the 15:56 mark, the first media timeout, and played about half the first half.

He ended the game with seven points and those 12 rebounds in 18 total minutes payed. He also had an assist, a block and a steal.

With 18:46 left in the game, Siva was awarded a flagrant foul after officials stopped the game for an injured USF player. After a long delay, officials told Louisville coach Rick Pitino they were pinning a foul on Siva, and USF came away with a point on the play.

The home crowd lustily booed the call, and Rick Pitino didn't seem too happy with it either. Siva made the bucket before play was stopped to tend to the injured player.

Later in the game, Siva hit the deck hard after driving to the basket. He laid on the court for a while at the 3:41 mark before he was helped to the bench for the remainder of the game. Louisville was ahead 58-30 at the time.

Louisville players have taken quite a bit of public criticism in recent days from their coach for not being up to the standard last season's team set on defense. Last season, the Cardinals made the Final Four largely on the strength of their confusing, switching man-to-man and zone defenses.

This year's team isn't as good at that yet according to Pitino. But on Saturday, Louisville confounded USF into hitting just 5 of 22 first-half shots for 22.7 percent shooting. The Cardinals also hounded the Bulls for 10 turnovers.

The second half was more of the same as USF didn't break 30 points until the 3:58 mark of the second half, and ended the game shooting 26.7 percent. The Bulls had fewer made field goals (12) than turnovers (17) or personal fouls (16).

Junior Gorgui Dieng recorded his 16th double-double of his career with 12 ponts and 16 rebounds against South Florida Saturday. Dieng had four points and six rebounds at halftime in 13 minutes.

Louisville out-rebounded USF 49-24 and beat the Bulls 20-2 on second-chance points. Dieng had more offensive rebounds (7) than USF did (6).

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