Dec. 30, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With the nonconference portion of its schedule in the books, the University of Louisville men's basketball team is turning its attention to conference play, as the Cardinals face UCF on Tuesday at CFE Arena in Orlando at 5:05 p.m. ET.
The Dec. 31 game will air on ESPN2, with Mike Crispino (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst) calling the action. Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Jody Demling (analyst) will announce the game on WHAS 840 AM. The game also is available on SIRIUS channel 111 and XM channel 191.
In the only meeting between the two programs, the Cardinals posted a 78-58 victory in Freedom Hall on Dec. 15, 1999. Tony Williams led Louisville with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
Last time out, the Cardinals' (11-2) six-game winning streak was snapped with a 73-66 loss to then-No. 18 Kentucky at Rupp Arena. The Cardinals shot just 39.7 percent from the field and also struggled from the charity stripe, hitting just 14 of their 22 attempts.
Russ Smith finished with a game-high 19 points, while tallying four assists and one steal. He passed John Turner (1958-61) and Allen Murphy (1972-75) for 21st on the school's career scoring list with 1,455 points. His lone steal, the 204th of his career, tied him with DeJuan Wheat (1993-97) for No. 7 on the school's career steals list.
Chris Jones was the Cardinals' only other double-digit scorer, pouring in 18 points, 15 of which came in the first half. Kentucky, which won the rebounding battle 44-36, was led by 18 points apiece from James Young and Andrew Harrison.
Through 13 games, Smith is leading the team with 16.9 points per game and 64 assists. Jones, second on the team in scoring with 13.8 points, has a team-high 24 steals. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 12 points and eight rebounds per game.
Team-wise, through Dec. 29, No. 14/10 Louisville ranks among the nation's best in turnover margin (No. 1, +8.5), scoring margin (No. 3, +23.6), turnovers per game (No. 6, 9.5), and total steals (No. 8, 123).
UCF, riding a five-game winning streak, enters Tuesday's game with an 8-3 record.
The Knights went 2-0 in the Jackson Hewitt UCF Holiday Classic, including their last victory - over a week ago - on Dec. 22 against Valparaiso, 90-62. UCF hit 51.7 percent of its shots from the field, including 11 of 19 3-point field goals (57.9 percent).
Transfer Tristan Spurlock led UCF, which experienced a 33-point lead, with 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting, four from 3-point range, and had four steals. Four other players finished in double figures, including reserves Brandon Goodwin (12 points) and Eugene McCrory (11 points).
Calvin Newell is pacing the Knights' offense, with 14.8 points per game. He also boasts team bests of 26 steals and 40 assists. Isaiah Sykes is averaging 13.9 points.
UCF is averaging 8.6 3-pointers per game, which ranks No. 21 nationally.
The Knights are under the direction of fourth-year coach Donnie Jones, who has guided the program to a 74-48 record. The Knights were picked to finish eighth in the American Athletic Conference's preseason coaches' poll. Sykes was named to the conference's preseason second team.
GAME FACTS - Louisville at UCF
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 31
Time: 5:05 p.m. ET
Site: CFE Arena, Orlando, Fla. (10,000)
TV: ESPN2 will broadcast the game, with Mike Crispino (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS 840 AM will broadcast the game, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Jody Demling (analyst) calling the action. The broadcast also is available on SIRIUS channel 111 and XM channel 191.
Series History: Louisville leads 1-0 (1-0 in Louisville).
Next UofL Game: Saturday, Jan. 4 at Rutgers, 6 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)