A big, big win for Louisville in Big D

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The CBS Sports Network isn’t available on the rolodex of cable channels at the homestead. That’s a disappointment. I would like to have seen Louisville’s 84-71 win at SMU last night.

Judging from the box score and reports, the Cards did what the Cards do when the Cards are at their best. They forced the host Mustangs into 23 turnovers. They made 13 three-point shots.

Playing with a stomach virus, Russ Smith nailed all six of his second-half three-point attempts. The senior guard scored 22 points in the second stanza, 26 for the game. He missed just two of his 10 second-half field goal attempts.

Meanwhile, SMU’s Nic Moore faced double trouble. The point guard was playing with an injured ankle, then encountered early foul trouble. Without its best ball handler, the Mustangs apparently melted when Louisville turned up the heat.

A check of Ken Pomeroy’s tempo-free numbers this morning shows Louisville at No. 7 in defensive efficiency. The Cards are ranked 12th in offensive efficiency and fourth overall. (Kentucky is 21st overall.)

Chris Jones, whose stepbrother had been shot and killed Saturday, chipped in 21 points for the Cards. This is the same Jones who missed nine of 10 shots on Saturday at his hometown of Memphis. Montrezl Harrell scored 19 points. Luke Hancock added 15.

It was Hancock that Rick Pitino instructed to shake the hand of George W. Bush before the game and inform the former president it was an honor for Louisville to play in front of him. Jerry Jones was in the Moody Coliseum crowd, as were Tony Romo, Jeremy Jason Witten and Troy Aikman.

They all watched Louisville improve to 25-5 overall and 14-3 in the American Athletic Conference. The Cards can clinch the No. 1 seed in the league tournament by beating visiting Connecticut on Saturday.

Photo of Louisville’s Chris Jones by AP

 

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