LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Luke Hancock, whose three-pointer in the final seconds beat Syracuse last Saturday, keyed a 10-1 run early in the second half as No. 8 Louisville beat Cincinnati 67-51 on Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
The score was tied at 37 when Hancoack went to work. The junior co-captain hit a running floater from about 12 feet, drilled a long 4-pointer and then provided an assist on a dunk by Chane Behanan to make it 44-38. A basket by Russ Smith and a free throw by Kevin Ware made it 47-38, and the Cardinals were never threatened from there.
Louisville (25-5, 13-4), which won its sixth game in a row and clinched a double-bye in the Big East Tournament, held its largest lead at 62-44.
The Cards were led by Smith with 18 points. Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng each had 11, with Siva adding four assists and two steals and Dieng contributing nine rebounds, a block and a steal. Hancock had eight points, all in the second half, to go with two assists and a steal.
Cincinnati (20-9, 8-9), which lost for the sixth time in eight games, was led by Cashmere Wright with 15 points. Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker each added 12 for the Bearcats, who opened the season 13-0 and were ranked No. 8 in the country but now are in danger of not making the NCAA Tournament.
Louisville shot 48.3 percent from the field (28 of 58), including 54.2 percent in the second half (13 of 24). Cincinnati shot 35.3 percent (18 of 51), including just 29.2 percent in the second half (7 of 24). The Bearcats also had 21 turnovers to the Cardinals' nine.
In a back-and-forth first half, Louisville took a 35-31 lead on a long 3-pointer by Siva at the halftime buzzer.
The teams had traded baskets until Louisville went on a 10-0 run to lead 22-15. The Bearcats retaliated with a 7-0 run to tie it, but the Cardinals came right back with a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good at 28-22. They led 32-31 when Siva hit his bomb as time ran out in the half.
Siva, who was coming off his worst game of the season (no points on 0-of-9 shooting from the field against Syracuse), led Louisville with 11 points at the half. Smith had 10 and Dieng added eight.
Cincinnati was led by with by Wright with nine points. Kirkpatrick and Parker each had seven.
Cincinnati had 12 turnovers in the half to Louisville's four. The Cards shot 44.1 percent from the field (15 of 34) compared with 40.7 percent by Cincinnati (11 of 27). UC held a 21-15 rebounding edge.
NOTES: Louisville and Cincinnati have met 94 times in a series that dates to 1921. The Cardinals hold a 53-41 advantage. ... Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin was an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2001 to 2003. He is one of nine former Pitino assistants who are now head coaches in college, and he has the best record against Pitino (4-5). Pitino is 32-9 against former assistants.