No. 5 Louisville 80, Fairleigh Dickinson 58
Louisville coach Rick Pitino told Kyle Kuric to finally fill up
a box score after not shooting enough in the opening month of the
The senior forward responded following the pregame pep talk.
Kuric scored 18 points and Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 12
rebounds to lift No. 5 Louisville to an 80-58 victory over
Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday – the Cardinals’ 17th straight win
at the KFC Yum! Center.
”I told him the speech before the game, `I’m tired of you not
having an assist, I’m tired of you not having an offensive
rebound,”’ Pitino said. ”He’s still not shooting the ball enough.
He’s got shots and he’s not taking them. He’s got to shoot the ball
Kuric finished with six rebounds, including three on the
offensive end, to go with three assists, two steals and a blocked
shot. Still, he was frustrated at his 2-for-8 effort from 3-point
”I’m trying to do a lot of things. I was just taking what was
there,” Kuric said. ”It wasn’t falling today and coach just told
me to keep shooting. I just tried to run the floor and get easy
Peyton Siva had 16 points and nine assists for Louisville, which
is in the midst of a 10-game homestand that will get a lot tougher
when the Cardinals host No. 21 Memphis next Saturday after
finishing final exams this coming week.
Louisville (9-0) used a 10-0 run late in the first half to open
up a 19-point advantage at the break and was never threatened in
the second half.
George Goode, who played three seasons at Louisville before
transferring to pursue a graduate degree, had 17 points and 12
rebounds for FDU (1-8). Melquan Bolding added 23 points for the
”I just loved it,” Goode said. ”I enjoyed every minute of it.
I would never change it for the world. I was happy to be
In addition to Memphis, the Cardinals’ upcoming schedule also
features meetings with No. 18 Georgetown on Dec. 28 and top-ranked
Kentucky on Dec. 31.
”We’re happy with the win, now we’ve got a week to prepare for
one of the more athletic teams in the country in Memphis and we
still have a lot of improvements to make,” Pitino said.
Louisville has already had seven different players sit out games
this season with Saturday’s absence of reserve guard Russ Smith
(neck), but the Cardinals have relied on defense to remain
Louisville took a double-digit lead midway through the first
half, but there were plenty of teaching points with Pitino’s team
seeing a variety of zones for the first time.
”I thought the first 10 minutes we attacked the zone really,
really well,” the coach said. ”I think the game was in hand, we
just wanted to basically just work on things because we haven’t
seen too much zone.”
Pitino called a timeout after Goode’s putback dunk cut
Louisville’s lead to 27-18 when no one blocked out their former
teammate, but Dieng grabbed an offensive rebound after the sideline
chat and scored to spark a 10-0 run that made the margin 19 points
with 2:39 left in the first half.
FDU, which has lost 19 of its last 20 on the road and was picked
to finish last in the Northeast Conference, never came closer than
16 the rest of the way.
Siva, Elisha Justice, Mike Marra, Stephan Van Treese, Wayne
Blackshear and Rakeem Buckles have all missed at least one game
this season because of injury. Buckles returned from right knee
surgery after missing nearly 10 months in a 90-60 victory over
IUPUI on Wednesday, but he did not play against the Knights.
Goode, a role player at Louisville who received a degree in
communications before leaving for the Knights, got a loud ovation
during pregame and shook Pitino’s hand after being introduced. He
also scored the game’s first points with a dunk, but FDU’s lead
would be short-lived.
Siva answered with two layups and Louisville never trailed the
rest of the way thanks to Kuric’s big effort.
”Kyle is always there,” Siva said. ”He’s going to do a little
bit of everything for us.”