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    Louisville Basketball's Defense Smothers Savannah State 87-26
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    In their third of four games of the Global Sports Showcase, the University of Louisville basketball Cardinals (4-0) welcomed Savannah State University (1-3) into the KFC Yum! Center. Well, welcome is probably too strong a word. The 87-26 win was the highest victory margin yet this season for the Cards.

    The teams have met once before. 8 years ago Juan Palacios led the Cardinals to a 26 point win in Freedom Hall. The sole win Savannah State owns this year is against Cleveland State who just so happens to be the Cards next opponent.

    The win puts U of L head coach Rick Pitino one victory away from 700 total. It also marked 100 triumphs in the last four years for the Cards. That’s the most of any team in the nation.

    The Tigers were tasked with testing the Cardinals who have yet to have a serious one. Louisville’s biggest deficit would be 5 which was quickly erased when they faced Marshall. With this being the biggest game on SSU’s schedule all year you thought they would be up for it.

    The problem for the Tigers was that the Cards were up for it, too, defensively. In the first half, Savannah State didn’t score a field goal until it was under 2:00 and they finished with 7.7% shooting and 0% from beyond the arc.

    Meanwhile the Louisville offense started slow but gradually picked up thanks to that typical smothering Pitino defense. When it starting clicking Chris Jones and Anton Gill starting hitting from three point range and the interior outscored SSU in the pain 18-2 in the first half and 40-14 overall. The score was a head smacking 41-7 at the break.

    It got worse in the second half even as the reserves started platooning in for Louisville. On the plus side, Cardinal fans got a chance to see what the team will look like with Quentin Snider at the point. The young guard has a lot of work to do but his ball security was on display.

    Pitino acknowledged that Savannah State isn’t as bad as the final result showed. He used understatement when he said their shots wouldn’t fall. They ended the still 0% from three point territory and 19.6% from the field.

    The stars pretty much got the night off after only a few minutes into the second half. Louisville dropped the press and Pitino said we did everything they could to slow it down even playing “four white guys and an Egyptian.” That drew laughs during the press conference.

    Even with all that Montrezl Harrell scored 15 points to go with 9 rebounds. Wayne Blackshear had 13 points and Chinanu Onuaku was stopped short of another double-double: 10 points and 9 rebounds.

    It’s a quick turn around for the Cards as they return to the KFC Yum! Center in two days for Cleveland State at 7pm. The game will be netcast on ESPN3.

    Photos by: Tim Girton/

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    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

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