Feb. 13, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men’s basketball team returns home on Thursday, Feb. 14, to face St. John's in the KFC Yum! Center on Valentine’s Day.
Tip is set for 9 p.m. and the ESPN crew calling the game features Mike Patrick (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst). Fans also can listen to the game on WHAS 840AM, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) broadcasting the event.
The No. 11/12 Cardinals, who carry a 19-5 overall record, with a 7-4 mark in BIG EAST play, are looking to rebound after a five-overtime heartbreaking loss at Notre Dame, 104-101. Both teams struggled throughout the contest from the field. Louisville finished with a 40.7 percent clip shooting and the Fighting Irish just edged them with a 41.6 percent mark.
Three Cardinals produced double-doubles in the Saturday contest, led by Chane Behanan’s career-high 30 points and 15 rebounds. Russ Smith scored 21 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng produced his 18th career double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Fighting Irish had two players record a double-double, with Pat Connaughton totaling 16 points and 14 rebounds and Jack Cooley posting 11 points and 11 rebounds. Garrick Sherman gave Notre Dame a huge spark off the bench, recording all of his stats - 17 points and six rebounds - in only the overtime sessions.
Through Monday’s contests, Louisville ranks third in the country in steals per game (10.8) and turnover margin (+6.3) and eighth in scoring margin (+15.6). St. John’s is ranked second in the country in blocked shots per game at 7.6.
St. John’s, which has dropped two of its last three games, enters the contest with a 15-9 overall mark, including a 7-5 record in league play. The Red Storm will be without their head coach, Steve Lavin, on Thursday after the passing of his father, Cap, over the weekend.
In its most recent game, Syracuse beat St. John’s, 77-58, on Monday. The Red Storm’s JaKarr Sampson led all scorers with 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting, but turned the ball over seven times. For the game, St. John’s shot 41.8 percent. Syracuse, led by Michael Carter-Williams’ and C.J. Fair’s 17 points apiece, went 53.7 percent from the field and knocked down 10 3-pointers.
The Red Storm are under the direction of third-year head coach Lavin, who has guided the program to a 38-23 overall mark. D’Angelo Harrison leads the team in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game, and also has team-best 36 steals. Sampson, who is averaging 14.8 points, is first on the team in rebounds per game (6.6). In the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, St. John’s was picked to finish 10th.
THE SERIES - Louisville vs. St. John's
Louisville holds a 10-4 edge in the series history, winning six of the last seven meetings. The Cardinals soared past the Red Storm last season, 73-58, in Madison Square Garden. Smith led the Cardinals with 17 points, seven assists, and four steals, and Gorgui Dieng added 12 points, nine rebounds, and seven blocks. St. John’s D’Angelo Harrison led all scores with 24 points, while adding eight rebounds and three steals. The Cardinals’ defense proved to be the difference in the contest, holding the Red Storm to 18-for-64 from the field (28 percent).
GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. St. John’s
Date: Thursday, Feb. 14
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
TV: ESPN will televise the game, with Mike Patrick (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) calling the contest.
Radio: The game will air on WHAS 840 AM, as Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) announce the game.
SIRIUS: The game also is available on SIRIUS channel 92 and XM channel 190.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series 10-4 (6-0 in Louisville, 3-2 in New York, 1-2 neutral).
Officials: John Higgins, Roger Ayers, Tim Clougherty
Next U of L Game: Sunday, Feb. 17, at USF, Tampa, Fla., 1:02 p.m. ET (ESPN)