Jan. 15, 2012
Louisville Game Notes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Less than 46 hours after its second BIG EAST victory of the year, the No. 14/15 University of Louisville men's basketball team will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., for a Monday afternoon contest at No. 25/24 Marquette at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Jan. 16 game, held on Martin Luther King Day, will be televised on ESPN, with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (color) calling the action.
The Cardinals (14-4, 2-3 BIG EAST) are coming off 76-59 over DePaul in which Russ Smith, earning his fourth start of the season, led Louisville with 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Chris Smith scored 20, and Gorgui Dieng, despite being a game-time decision, tallied 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. As a team, the Cardinals shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field and connected on 13-of-17 free throw attempts. Defensively, the Cardinals limited the Blue Demons to just 34.3 percent (23-of-67) from the field and allowed only one player to record double-digit points (Brandon Young, 14). Louisville dominated the paint, outscoring DePaul, 42-18.
Impressively, the Cardinals recorded 13 steals in the game and, for the season, are averaging 9.7 per contest. That mark ranks second in the BIG EAST and ninth in the nation. Louisville's defense also is making it difficult for opponents to hit a high percentage of shots, holding them to just 36.4 percent, which ranks fifth in the nation.
Marquette (14-4, 3-2) has won back-to-back BIG EAST games after registering a 62-57 victory at home against Pittsburgh on Jan. 14. Pittsburgh led by five at the half, but Marquette was able to outscore the Panthers by 10 in the final period. Darius Johnson-Odom was one of just seven players to see action on the court for Marquette, and he led the team with 18 points. Jae Crowder added 15, and Todd Mayo posted nine points and a team-best seven rebounds. Pittsburgh, despite Ashton Gibbs' 29 points on 8-of-16 shooting, managed to connect on just 43.5 percent (20-of-46) of its shots.
The Golden Eagles are under the direction of fourth-year head coach Buzz Williams, who's guided the program to an 83-41 overall mark and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Johnson-Odom leads the team with 18.1 points per game, while Jae Crowder, who's second on the team at 16.3 points per contest, has a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game. Marquette was picked to finish sixth in the league in the preseason coaches' poll, and Johnson-Odom and Crowder earned preseason all-BIG EAST accolades.
THE SERIES - Louisville vs. Marquette
The Cardinals lead the all-time series over Marquette, 40-25, winning six of the last seven and nine of the last 11 in a matchup that dates back to 1951. The Cardinals won both meetings last year, including Louisville's 18-point comeback at home on Jan. 15, 2011 for a 71-70 victory. The Cardinals were behind, 65-47, before making a 13-0 run. Kyle Kuric, who had 10 points, scored the winning basket with four seconds remaining. Louisville's second win of the season against Marquette came in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals, an 81-56 victory, in which Mike Marra scored 22 points off the bench behind six 3-pointers.
GAME FACTS - Louisville at Marquette
Date: Monday, Jan. 16
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Site: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wis. (18,600)
TV: ESPN will televise the game, with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (color) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the action.
SIRIUS: Game will be available on XM Channel 91.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series, 40-25 (22-11 in Louisville, 17-13 in Milwaukee, 1-1 neutral).
Officials: Karl Hess, Mike Stuart, Doug Shows
Next U of L Game: Saturday, Jan. 21, at Pittsburgh, Peterson Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)