Pitino, Chris Smith Preview BIG EAST Road Game Versus No. 8/7-ranked Notre Dame

Chris Smith finished with 10 points in Louisville's win over DePaul.

Chris Smith finished with 10 points in Louisville's win over DePaul.

Feb. 8, 2011

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and junior guard Chris Smith met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Wednesday's BIG EAST road contest against No. 8/7-ranked Notre Dame on Feb. 9 in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The game is set for a 7:02 p.m. ET tip, and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU, with Rece Davis (play-by-play) and Digger Phelps (color) calling the action.

The No. 15/15-ranked Cardinals (18-5, 7-3 BIG EAST) improved to 5-0 at home in conference play, with a 61-57 victory over DePaul on Feb. 5. Kyle Kuric had a game-high 19 points, while Peyton Siva registered six points and 10 assists in the victory. Terrence Jennings (10 points, eight rebounds) and Chris Smith (10 points) also finished in double digits in points. As a team, the Cardinals out-rebounded the Blue Demons, 34-25, including 13 offensive boards. Defensively, Louisville forced 12 turnovers and scored 19 points off the change of possession. DePaul was led by Brandon Young's 15 points.

Winners of five straight, Notre Dame enters Wednesday's contest with a 19-4 overall mark, going 8-3 in conference play. The Fighting Irish have a perfect 14-0 home record and defeated Rutgers in their last game, 76-69, on Feb. 6. Ben Hansbrough had a game-high 25 points, including an 11-of-13 stint from the charity stripe. Three other Notre Dame players finished with double-digit point totals, including Carleton Scott, who had 12 points and 11 boards. The Fighting Irish won the rebounding battle, 36-31, and shot 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the field in the first half.

The Fighting Irish are under the direction of Mike Brey, who's in his 11th season at the helm of the program. He has guided Notre Dame to a 230-117 mark, with a 106-71 record in the BIG EAST. In the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, Notre Dame was picked to finish seventh. Tim Abromaitis was the lone player to be honored in the preseason, as he was tabbed a preseason second team all-BIG EAST selection. Currently, Hansbrough leads the team in points per game (17.2), assists (93) and steals (28). On the glass, Scott leads the team at 6.6 rebounds per game.

The Series - Louisville vs. Notre Dame
The Cardinals hold the all-time series advantage over the Fighting Irish, 16-9, with Louisville winning 11 of the last 13 games. Four of the last eight have been decided in overtime. In last year's meeting, which lasted regulation plus two overtimes, Louisville came out victorious at Freedom Hall, with a 91-89 decision. Samardo Samuels led the charge, with 36 points on 10-of-19 shooting, while Jared Swopshire and Edgar Sosa each tallied 12 points. The game featured 17 ties and 21 lead changes. Tim Abromaitis had a team-high 29 points for the Fighting Irish.

GAME FACTS - Louisville at Notre Dame
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 9
Time: 7:02 p.m. ET
Site: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, Ind. (9,149)
TV: ESPNU will televise the game, with Rece Davis (play-by-play) and Digger Phelps (color) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD (790 AM, 101.7 FM) 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 SIRIUS Channel 159 and XM Channel 117.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series, 16-9 (11-1 in Louisville, 4-5 in South Bend, 1-3 neutral).
Officials: John Cahill, Pat Driscoll, Jeff Clark
Next U of L Game: Saturday, Feb. 12 vs. Syracuse at KFC Yum! Center, Noon ET (ESPN)



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