Louisville 70, Marquette 51

The SportsXchange

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Taking command with a 22-4 run that started midway of the first half, No. 12 Louisville beat No. 25 Marquette 70-51 Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Cardinals (18-4, 6-3 Big East) won their second straight game following a three-game losing streak that dropped them drop from a No. 1 national ranking. Marquette (15-5, 6-2), which had a two-game winning streak snapped, was deprived of an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the Big East and now is tied for first with No. 6 Syracuse, one game in front of four teams at 6-3.

Louisville was led by Russ Smith, who had 18 points, and Peyton Siva, who had been in a scoring slump (just two points in his previous two games), who had 14. The Cards shot 51.9 percent and had a 38-26 rebounding edge. The Cards had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, almost equaling Marquette's total rebounds (13) in the half.

Marquette was led by Vander Blue, who had 17 points, and Trent Lockett, who added 16. The Golden Eagles shot just 35.8 percent and had only six assists.

"That's a tribute to our defense," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "To our hustle and to our rotation."

Louisville got off to a slow start and didn't make a field goal until almost six minutes had expired. At that point the Cardinals trailed 9-3. Marquette led 16-10 with 11:43 left in the half when Louisville mounted its run. Smith started it with two free throws, a layup and an assist, and Siva ended the 22-4 run with a dunk, free throw and a layup to make it 32-20 with 3:44 left in the half.

The Cards led 38-24 at halftime, and they opened the second half with a 15-6 run to lead 53-30 with 13:27 to go. Marquette got no closer than 13 points from there.

NOTES: Louisville sophomore Wayne Blackshear, a starting forward who missed Monday's game against Pittsburgh because of a sprained right shoulder, played Sunday but did not start. A starter in 19 games this season, the 6-5 Blackshear was averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds before Sunday, and his 30 three-pointers are second on the team. ... Sophomore Kevin Ware, a reserve guard for the Cards who was suspended for the Pitt game for an undisclosed violation of team rules, also returned to action. The 6-2 Ware is averaging 3.8 points and 1.5 rebounds.
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