Louisville 106, Chattanooga 65
Preston Knowles scored 14 points and Peyton Siva, Kyle Kuric and Terrence Jennings added 13 points each as Louisville rolled by Chattanooga 106-65 on Monday.
The Cardinals (3-0) remained perfect in their new downtown arena by overwhelming the Mocs (2-3). Chattanooga turned it over 25 times and had no answer when Louisville pushed the tempo.
Rakeem Buckles, Mike Marra and Chris Smith scored 11 points each for Louisville, the third straight game the Cardinals have had at least four players in double figures.
Louisville led by 12 at the half and then put the game away with a 22-3 burst early in the second half fueled by Jennings and Buckles.
Omar Wattad led Chattanooga with 24 points, but the Mocs looked gassed playing their fourth game in eight days.
Louisville, by comparison, looked energized. Coach Rick Pitino chastised his team after a lethargic 62-45 win over Jackson State on Saturday, a game that was a hangover of sorts following an emotional season-opening win over Butler.
There were no such problems against the Mocs.
Louisville started slowly but didn't take long to get going. The Cardinals, as Pitino pledged in the preseason, pushed the ball up the floor at every opportunity.
Chattanooga did its best to slow the Cardinals down, but the Mocs couldn't match Louisville's firepower or depth.
The Cardinals enticed Chattanooga into turning the game into a track meet, and the Mocs complied by rushing shots or giving the ball away.
Wattad did his best to keep Chattanooga within striking distance even as Louisville built a 14-point halftime lead. The Georgetown transfer came into the game with just five 3-pointers on the season but nearly matched it with four in the first half.
Wattad knocked down his fifth 3 early in the second, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep pace with the Cardinals. Louisville erupted over the next 5 minutes behind a series of steals that the Cardinals quickly converted into buckets at the other end of the floor.
If it wasn't Buckles finding Jennings for a dunk then it was Marra knocking down a 3-pointer or Kuric stepping into a passing lane and sprinting for a jam.
The Mocs offered little resistance, allowing Pitino to go deep into his bench early in the second half. Every combination worked. The Cardinals shot 49 percent, turned Chattanooga's turnovers into 28 points and had 29 assists on 37 field goals.
Louisville even played little-used 6-foot-8 senior George Good alongside 6-10 freshman Gorgui Dieng for an extended period. Freshman walk-on Tim Henderson played 10 minutes as all 12 Louisville players got in the game. The crowd roared its approval after a jumper by Smith pushed the Cardinals over 100 points for the first time in their new digs.