Dec. 21, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's basketball team, playing its fourth neutral site game of the season, heads to Nashville, Tenn., for a matchup with Western Kentucky on Saturday, Dec. 22 at Bridgestone Arena.
The game, which starts at 8:35 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on ESPNU, with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (analyst) on the call. Audio of the game can be heard on WKRD (790 AM; joined in progress on WHAS 840 AM), as Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (analyst) carry the action.
Louisville, which has won its last five decisions, enters the game ranked fourth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and fifth by the Associated Press. Over that span, Louisville is outscoring its opponents, 83-57, holding a +10.2 turnover margin and is averaging seven 3-pointers a game. Defensively, the Cardinals are holding teams to 39.6 percent from the field and 25.3 percent from beyond the arc. Starters Russ Smith (20.2), Peyton Siva (14.0), Chane Behanan (12.8) and Wayne Blackshear (10.2) are averaging double-digit points over the five-game stretch.
Last time out, the Cardinals defeated FIU, 79-55, on Dec. 19 in the Billy Minardi Classic. Siva totaled 15 points, going 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, and a career-best 12 assists to earn MVP honors. Blackshear scored a game-high 18 points, knocking down four 3-pointers, and collected eight rebounds. Smith and Behanan (eight rebounds) each had 14 points. FIU, under the direction of Richard Pitino, was led by Tymell Murphy's 12 points and 12 rebounds.
After dropping its last two games, Western Kentucky heads into Saturday's contest with an 8-4 record. The Hilltoppers, most recently, suffered a 76-44 defeat by Virginia Commonwealth. WKU, which totaled just 16 points in the first half, shot 35.7 percent from the field for the game and only 8-of-17 from the charity stripe. VCU had four starters in double figures in points, led by Briante Weber's 13.
The Hilltoppers are under the direction of Ray Harper, who's in his second year at the helm of the program. Western Kentucky ranks 35th nationally in rebounding margin (+7.4) and is led by T.J. Price, who's averaging 16.9 points per game. Price ranks 46th nationally in 3-point field goals per game (2.78). WKU was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference East Division in the preseason coaches' poll.
The PEYTON Watch: Peyton Siva is 54 points shy of becoming the 64th Louisville men's basketball player to reach 1,000 points. The Cardinals rank second all-time in 1,000 point scorers behind North Carolina's 67.
GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. Western Kentucky
Date: Saturday, Dec. 22
Time: 8:35 p.m. ET
Site: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn. (19,395)
TV: ESPNU will broadcast the game, with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD (790 AM; joined in progress on WHAS 840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (color) calling the game.
SIRUS: The game will be available on SIRUS channel 94 and XM channel 198.
Series History: Western Kentucky leads the all-time series, 39-36 (18-26 in Louisville, 16-8 in Bowling Green, 5-2 neutral).
Officials: Mike Stuart, Doug Shows, Brent Hampton
Next U of L Game: Dec. 29 vs. Kentucky, KFC Yum! Center, 4 p.m. ET (CBS)