NEW ORLEANS (AP)—Most freshmen figure to have a tough time against 12th-ranked Louisville. Tulane started three of them and learned that the hard way.
Francisco Garcia had 21 points, five other Louisville players also scored in double figures, and the Cardinals’ pressure defense forced 26 turnovers in a 105-69 rout of the outmanned Green Wave on Saturday night.
“We’re the worst team for a young team to play because we’re experienced and because of the way we pressure the passing lanes,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whose team had 20 steals, one short of the school record. “We were very active and we just had much more talent than Tulane.”
The Cardinals (18-3, 6-2 Conference USA) never trailed in winning their seventh straight game and 12th in their last 13. Louisville has won by an average of 32.9 points during its winning streak.
Louisville led by 19 after 10 minutes and pushed the margin to as many as 25 in the first half before taking a 50-29 lead into halftime.
Tulane (8-11, 2-6) never got closer in the second half, and Louisville led by as many as 44.
“We did what we had to do,” said Taquan Dean, who had 19 points, including four 3-pointers. “It’s all about defense. We know we’re going to score.”
Lorrenzo Wade added 14 for Louisville, Larry O’Bannon had 12, and Ellis Myles and Juan Palacios scored 11 each.
Donnie Stith was the only Green Wave player to score in double figures, getting 19 points before fouling out.
The 26 turnovers matched Tulane’s most this season. They led to 29 Louisville points.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t rebound well,” Tulane coach Shawn Finney said. “A lot of our turnovers came in the halfcourt. We didn’t slow down with the poise to make plays. We got to playing East-West and sideways and they pushed us away from the basket.”
Tulane made just two field goals during the first 10 minutes. The Green Wave twice got the lead down to 15 points, but Louisville finished the half with a 10-4 run.