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No. 12 Louisville beats Rutgers
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 7, 2013 @ 2:01 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by C.L. Brown, USA TODAY Sports
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — A victory — no matter how painfully disjointed it was to watch at times — was all that mattered for the University of Louisville men’s basketball on Wednesday night at Rutgers. And the No. 12 Cardinals claimed their seventh straight win over the Scarlet Knights, 68-48 in the Rutgers Athletic Center.
After a first half marred by fouls, unforced turnovers and generally bad basketball from both teams, U of L asserted itself on defense to start the second half. After Rutgers scored the first basket to tie it at 28, the Cards (19-4, 7-3 Big East) scored the next 13 points and never looked back. After scoring just six points off turnovers in the first half, the Cards matched that production before the first media timeout of the second half.
After Rutgers (12-9, 3-7) finally ended the U of L run with its first basket in nearly four minutes, the Cards reeled off another spurt. This time their 10-0 run, capped by Russ Smith’s 3-pointer, made it 51-30 and caused massive chunks of the crowd to head for the exits with 11:46 still left in the game.
Not even the debut of an in-house deejay at the RAC could keep those fans in their seats. They could see that at the rate the Scarlet Knights were scoring — not scoring, actually — there was no chance of a rally. Rutgers made just three of its first 14 shots in the second half.
U of L forward Wayne Blackshear didn’t start in his second game back from a shoulder injury, but he made an immediate impact when he replaced Luke Hancock. The score was tied at 2 after nearly four minutes before Blackshear pumped in seven straight points, making his first three shots. That set the tone for the sophomore to score a career-high 19 points with 7-of-11 shooting.
Smith, like the rest of the Cards, had a better second half than first.
More than the fans leaving, Smith epitomized how badly U of L were beating the Scarlet Knights with 9:15 left. He grabbed a rebound, pushed it up the floor and realized … [For more on No. 12 Louisville Cardinals beat Rutgers Scarlet Knights, click here.]
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