NCAA BK

No. 1 Louisville beats UConn 73-58

Share This Story

   
 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)

Connecticut has a pretty good backcourt in Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. In the second half against No. 1 Louisville, the Huskies' guards were overmatched.

Russ Smith and Peyton Siva, Louisville's backcourt, dominated play in the second half in the Cardinals' 73-58 victory Monday night.

''Both of their guards are so electric and fast,'' Napier said of his counterparts.

Russ Smith had 23 points and Peyton Siva managed 11 in a foul-plagued 22 minutes for the Cardinals, who played just hours after they moved to the top of Top 25.

The Cardinals (16-1, 4-0 Big East) won their 11th straight game and like the others they relied on their star backcourt and pressure defense.

''They're strong and quick. They're always moving and active,'' Connecticut's Omar Calhoun said of Louisville's defense. ''They move like they're on a string. You always have to be aware and watch what you're doing against them.''

Siva, the conference preseason Player of the Year, picked up his second foul just 3:47 into the game. Not only did the Cardinals lose a veteran leader when the senior went out but Smith, the leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, had to assume more of a role in running the offense. It didn't hurt his scoring much, though, as he had 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting as Connecticut took a 34-28 halftime lead.

Siva picked up his third foul with 14:21 to play in the game and he returned to the bench. When he came back in the game with 10 minutes left, Smith went to the bench for treatment. Siva hit a 3-pointer 50 seconds later as part of the game-changing 19-5 run.

''We did a good job of weathering a Peyton Siva storm, with him out,'' Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. ''Once he came back and we weathered that storm, we were able to play much better defense and much better offense.''

That is an understatement.

The pressure defense that drops into a matchup zone forced Connecticut into turnover after turnover and when the Huskies did get to shoot it was almost always a miss.

''They deserve the No. 1 ranking,'' Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said. ''They have talent. They play together. They play hard. Whoever's open they get the ball to. And they have those two amazing guards. Siva and Russ put pressure on our offense and defense the whole night.''

Now Ollie has to get the Huskies ready for a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend.

''We've just got to focus in on what we have to do,'' Ollie said. ''We have to make shots. In these types of games you've got to make plays. We have the guards to make plays but unfortunately we didn't make enough tonight.''

Connecticut, which shot 53.8 percent from the field in the first half, had just three field goals in the opening 13 minutes of the second half as Louisville went ahead 60-44. The Huskies, who went 9 minutes without a field goal at one stretch, had trouble moving the ball against the fullcourt pressure and 2-3 zone of the Cardinals. The Huskies had seven turnovers in the first 11 minutes of the second half, matching their total in the first half.

''In the second half, we came out and we put it all together,'' Siva said. ''The second half, I just tried to get everybody going. ''

Louisville shot 60.7 percent in the second half (17 of 28) and hit an even 50 percent for the game.

Connecticut scored the first basket of the second half for a 36-28 lead but that's when Louisville started looking like the No. 1 team in the country.

They went on an 8-0 run in which Smith had four points and Siva two. That was part of a 19-5 burst that gave Louisville a 47-41 lead with 12:18 to play.

''They came out in the second half, and I don't know what Pitino said to the, but he must have something,'' Ollie said. ''They played very, very hard in the second half, They took it to us.''

The only other time Louisville was ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25 was the final poll of 2008-09. The Cardinals won the national championship in 1980 and 1986 but the AP does not conduct a post-NCAA tournament poll.

The Cardinals are the third team to hold the No. 1 spot this season along with Indiana and Duke and they celebrated the move with the convincing road win.

Siva said he doesn't like being No. 1.

''I don't really like it, because it puts a big bull's eye on your back.,'' he said. ''But my team embraces it. They play with that chip on their shoulder like they should be No. 1 and in the second half we proved it.''

Calhoun led the Huskies (12-4, 2-2) with 20 points while Shabazz Napier added 12, all but two in the first half. Ryan Boatright had 11 points and he and Napier both had six assists for the Huskies, who were coming off a win over then-No. 17 Notre Dame that was their sixth in seven games.

Calhoun gave his opinion of Louisville being No. 1.

''You ain't going to play a team better than that,'' he said.

The Huskies shot 25.9 percent in the second half (7 of 27) and were at 39.6 percent for the game.

Connecticut drops to 2-7 all-time against No. 1 teams with the last win over Texas on Jan. 23, 2010.

Tagged: Louisville, Connecticut, Peyton Siva, Shabazz Napier, Russ Smith

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..