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March 4, 2013

FAST REACT: Louisville beats old rival Cincinnati

Louisville and Cincinnati met for the 97th time Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The Cardinals came away with a 67-51 win, pulling away just over midway through the second half.

CardinalSports.com's Howie Lindsey was on the baseline to bring fans quick thoughts and observations from the game.

Tonight's win over Cincinnati was Rick Pitino's 300th win at Louisville. After the game a video played highlights of some of Pitino's most memorable wins at Louisville, and the Cardinals' coach was given a game ball.

"There is no place, outside of Heaven, I'd rather spend 300 wins at than with you people," Pitino told the crowd via a microphone after the video played.

After netting ESPN SportsCenter's No. 1 play last Wednesday night in Chicago, UofL junior forward Chane Behanan put in another bid against Cincinnati.

Behanan came flying down the court and caught a Luke Hancock alley-oop pass a good eight feet from the rim, slamming it home with authority.

The dunk brought the Yum! Center crowd to its feet. Behanan, a Cincinnati native, had another breakaway a couple minutes later, but he couldn't connect on the dunk that time.

Prior to Monday night's game, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said the key to his team's chances against Louisville was to limit turnovers.

Cronin said giving Louisville transition baskets was like putting blood in the water spawning a shark-like feeding frenzy.

Prior to Monday night's game, Cincinnati had 19 turnovers twice (DePaul and UT-Martin). They turned the ball over 19 times during the first 32 minutes of Monday night's game.

Louisville had 12 points off turnovers in the first half. Cincinnati finished with 21 turnovers leading to 23 Louisville points.

It was the 11th time this season a Louisville foe had more turnovers than field goals.

Cronin called his final timeout of the game with 9:27 left in the second half with his team down 51-40. During Louisville's second half run, Cronin was powerless to stop the momentum.

After the Bearcats made five of 14 threes in the first half, Louisville made it a point to guard the UC shooters more effectively in the second half.

The Bearcats started the second half by missing their first five threes and didn't make a three-pointer until the 3:30 mark of the second half.

Cincinnati finished 6 of 21. Sean Kilpatrick was 1 of 9.

After the game, Pitino told the press that junior center Gorgui Dieng will participate in Senior Day Saturday against Notre Dame.

"I am encouraging him to come out and enter the NBA Draft," Pitino said. "He won't hire an agent, but he will participate in Senior Night."

Pitino said it will be an emotional Senior Day for him because he is so close to Siva. Add in Dieng, who has been one of Pitino's favorites ince he stepped on campus, and Saturday figures to get downright weepy.

But in the locker room after the game, Dieng said he's not ready to go yet.

"I'm a junior," Dieng said, before teammate Mango Mathiang mockingly put a Chicago Bulls hat on his head.

Louisville NEWS


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