The Cards improve to 9-7 all-time against Vanderbilt, winning for the sixth time in the past eight meetings.
UofL is 6-2 at home against Vanderbilt, extending its active win streak over the Commodores in Louisville to four (dating back to a 66-57 loss on Nov. 30, 1972).
The teams were meeting for the first time since a 78-62 Cardinal victory on Feb. 6, 1994, in Freedom Hall.
Head coach Rick Pitino is now 15-3 in his career against Vandy, with the first 17 games coming at Kentucky.
Louisville won its 15th consecutive game in the KFC Yum! Center, the first time UofL has taken 15 straight home games since Jan. 10-Dec. 27, 2008 (also 15). The Cards have not had a 16-game home win streak since March 1, 2003-Jan. 28, 2004, and haven't won 17 consecutive home contests since the 1987-88 and '88-'89 seasons (17 from Feb. 1, 1988-Jan. 22, 1989) .
Louisville now has 13 all-time home winning streaks of 15 games or longer.
The 15-game streak is the 13th-longest active string in the nation through Friday's games, topped only by Duke (39), Kentucky (38), Ohio State (29), Notre Dame (24), Wisconsin (23), Purdue (22), Temple (22), North Carolina (20), Belmont (18), George Mason (18), Harvard (18), and Bucknell (17). Utah State (33), Alabama (24), and Arizona (22) have all had prominent streaks go down already this season.
UofL improves to 25-2 in 27 regular-season games at the KFC Yum! Center.
With an 8-0 start last season and a 7-0 beginning this year, Louisville has started 7-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. The Cards had been 6-0 in consecutive years for the first time since the 1954-55 and '55-'56 campaigns.
Louisville is one of six schools nationally to start 7-0 both this year and last, along with Duke (15-0 last season, 7-0 this year), Northwestern (8-0, 7-0), Ohio State (24-0, 7-0), Syracuse (24-0, 8-0), and UNLV (9-0, 8-0). Baylor could add its name to the list with a win at Northwestern on Sunday (the Bears started 7-0 last year and are 6-0 thus far in 2011-12).
The contest was the fourth of a string of 10 straight home games for Louisville, a school-record-tying streak. The Cardinals also played 10 home games in a row last season (Nov. 16-Dec. 18) and in 2006-07 (Dec. 8-30).
UofL was facing its first ranked opponent of the season after beating seven such teams a year ago, fourth most in the nation and second most in Cardinal history (behind only the nine defeated by the 1985-86 championship squad).
Louisville was victorious for the fifth time in its last six games against ranked opponents, with the lone loss during that span coming to #21 Connecticut in the BIG EAST Tournament title game last season. Three of those six games have gone to overtime, with the Cards coming out on top each time.
Louisville has won four straight home games over top-25 opponents since the loss to Kentucky last year.
Over the past four seasons, the Cards are 23-14 against ranked teams, including a 19-11 record during the regular season.
UofL held Vanderbilt without a field goal for the first 5:07 before leading scorer John Jenkins connected on a long two.
Down 43-34 after a Jenkins jumper with 8:49 left, Louisville rallied for yet another comeback win, its eighth victory after trailing by nine or more over the last two seasons.
Wins after trailing by nine or more, last two seasons
18 down (47-65) - 1.15.11 vs. Marquette (H) - W, 71-70
16 (30-46) - 3.11.11 vs. Notre Dame (N) - W, 83-77 (OT)
12 (26-38) - 1.26.11 vs. West Virginia (H) - W, 55-54 9 (34-43) - 12.2.11 vs. Vanderbilt (H) - W, 62-60 (OT)
9 (2-11) - 3.10.11 vs. Marquette (N) - W, 81-56
9 (23-32) - 2.5.11 vs. DePaul (H) - W, 61-57
9 (43-52) - 1.29.11 vs. Connecticut (A) - W, 79-78 (2OT)
9 (36-45) - 12.11.10 vs. UNLV (H) - W, 77-69
Of the above comeback wins, Friday's was the second ending with a Peyton Siva driving lay-in with less than five seconds remaining. Siva also scored on a nearly-impossible scoop shot with 4.5 seconds left against West Virginia on Jan. 26 of last season.
Louisville also continued its remarkable success in overtime in recent years, winning for the fifth time in its last six overtime games and 10th time in the last 13. The Cardinals have now won six straight overtime games in Louisville, last losing to DePaul on Feb. 25, 2004.
Had UofL lost, it would have been its first overtime loss at home to a ranked team since Jan. 21, 1955. That game - a 69-67 defeat at the hands of #18 Dayton - was the Cards' first overtime game at home against a ranked foe. Since then, Louisville has gone to overtime at home against seven different ranked opponents, winning all seven games.
Overtime games at home against ranked opponents, Louisville history
1.21.55 - #18 Dayton 69, Louisville 67
2.13.69 - #20 Louisville 83, #7 Tulsa 81
3.6.83 - #3 Louisville 64, #17 Memphis 62
12.22.93 - #11 Louisville 78, #25 Western Kentucky 73
12.29.96 - #16 Louisville 89, #25 Boston College 85
1.12.09 - #20 Louisville 87, #13 Notre Dame 73
2.27.11 - #16 Louisville 62, #4 Pittsburgh 59 12.2.11 - #6 Louisville 62, #20 Vanderbilt 60
UofL is 16-9 all-time in overtime games versus ranked opponents. The Cardinals' last five overtime games have all been against top-25 teams.
Close games in Louisville? Those haven't been a problem for the Cards either, who have won nine straight home games decided by five points or less. Their last such loss came on the eve of the 2009 new year, 56-55 to UNLV.
Recent home games decided by five points or less
W, 74-71 - 1.4.09 vs. #4 Kentucky
W, 62-58 - 3.1.09 vs. #8 Marquette
W, 91-89 - 2.17.10 vs. Notre Dame (2OT)
W, 71-70 - 1.15.11 vs. Marquette
W, 55-54 - 1.26.11 vs. West Virginia
W, 61-57 - 2.5.11 vs. DePaul
W, 73-69 - 2.12.11 vs. #12 Syracuse
W, 62-59 - 2.27.11 vs. #4 Pittsburgh (OT) W, 62-60 - 12.2.11 vs. #20 Vanderbilt (OT)
Vanderbilt hit 10 threes in the game (on 26 attempts), the first time a team has hit double-digit threes against Louisville's defense since Notre Dame went 10-for-24 in the Cards' 91-89 overtime victory on Feb. 17, 2010.
Louisville held the opposition to 60 points or fewer for the eighth time in its last nine home games. In 27 games at the arena, opponents are scoring at a 58.4 clip, including a 50.5 mark in 2011-12.
The Commodores finished with 10 assists and 18 turnovers, the 34th time in 42 games the past two years in which Louisville's opponent had more turnovers than assists.
Friday's tilt was part of the 2011 BIG EAST/SEC Challenge, which pits the 12 SEC teams against 12 of the 16 BIG EAST clubs (first year for this particular format). After the leagues split four games on day one of the challenge (Dec. 1), the BIG EAST swept the second day's games, with Syracuse (72-68 over Florida), Cincinnati (57-51 over Georgia), and Seton Hall (81-59 over Auburn) also picking up victories. The BIG EAST will clinch a challenge victory with one win out of tomorrow's games (Arkansas at Connecticut, Pittsburgh at Tennessee, LSU at Rutgers, West Virginia at Mississippi State).
Freshman Chane Behanan and sophomore Gorgui Dieng continued their rebounding and shot-blocking prowess in 2011-12 on Friday night, with Behanan finishing with 10 rebounds and a stuff and Dieng eight boards and two swats. Behanan has six or more rebounds in every game this season - making him the first Cardinal with 6+ rebounds in the first seven games of the year since Earl Clark in 2007-08 - while Dieng is averaging 9.8 rebounds over his last four games and 10.7 over the last three.
Behanan registered a block for the seventh straight game to begin his career, while Dieng has recorded a block in nine straight games dating back to last season. Each is the first Cardinal to block a shot in the first seven games of a season since Francisco Garcia had a stuff in 11 straight to begin the 2002-03 campaign. Both have a long way to go to set a Louisville record, as Pervis Ellison blocked at least one shot in all 35 games of the 1987-88 season.
The two become the first pair of Louisville teammates to each block a shot in the first seven games of a season since Pervis Ellison and Billy Thompson both had stuffs in the first 13 games in 1985-86.
Dieng now has 19 career multi-block games and six in seven games this season.
Behanan also had 14 points - tying a career best he set in his Louisville debut - for his third career double-double.
Sophomore Russ Smith set a new career best with four assists, the third straight game in which he has had at least three dimes. Smith has 10 assists and just one turnover over that stretch.
Three of Smith's assists came in back-to-back-to-back fashion in a 52-second span in the first half.
Smith also nabbed a steal for the seventh consecutive game to start the year.
Senior Chris Smith extended his turnover-free stretch to 125 minutes before committing his lone miscue of the night at the 9:29 mark of the second half. He ended the game with five points, leaving him at 992 for his four-year career (including 596 points in two seasons at Manhattan).
Sophomore Peyton Siva tied a career best with seven rebounds against the Commodores, a mark he also achieved against Seton Hall (Jan. 5) and Connecticut (March 12) last year.
Siva missed his first two free throws of the game, snapping a streak of 17 consecutive free throws made for the guard. That streak was tied for the longest by a Louisville player since Cornell transfer Will Scott made the first 20 free throws of his Cardinal career from Nov. 18-Dec. 13, 2006.
With five assists in the game, Siva has had at least that many in nine of his last 11 games dating back to last season.
Senior Kyle Kuric finished with 15 points, the fifth time in seven games this year he has had at least 12. He also collected five boards, giving him 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game since Feb. 9 of last season (after putting up 4.8 and 2.1, respectively, in 68 games prior to that).
Kuric did have a rough night in terms of turnovers, tying a career high (three) in that category just 4:42 into the game. He finished with seven without an assist, the most for a Cardinal since Siva had eight at Georgetown last year (Jan. 31) and tied for the most for a Louisville player in a home game since Terrence Williams had eight on Nov. 17, 2007, against Hartford.
Vanderbilt junior and SEC scoring leader John Jenkins scored in double figures (27 points) for the 40th consecutive game.