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02/03/2013 6:28 PM EST
No. 12 Louisville routs No. 25 Marquette 70-51
LOUISVILLE 70, MARQUETTE 51

By GARY GRAVES
AP Sports Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Two weeks of struggle had begun to raise
questions about Louisville's ability to contend in the Big East.



And while some concerns remain to be addressed over the second
half of their league schedule, the No. 12 Cardinals reclaimed
some of their swagger with Sunday's 70-51 rout of No. 25
Marquette.



Russ Smith scored 18 points, Peyton Siva added 14 and Louisville
shot 52 percent to run away from Marquette. The Cardinals'
reserves helped out by outscoring the Golden Eagles' 19-10 - 21
points below their average coming in.



That contribution helped snap Louisville (18-4, 6-3) out of an
early funk and the Cardinals went on to their most decisive
victory since they started 4-0 in the league and beat opponents
by average of 18.5 points per game. That dominance was forgotten
in a three-game losing streak and a close win over Pittsburgh,
which made the Cardinals feel even better about getting it back.



"The guards got back and got on the glass. I think we matched
their physicality," said Siva, who shot 6 of 9 from the field
including a 3-pointer to break out of a 7-for-31 slump in the
four previous games. He also had seven assists. "Coach told us
they were going to come in here and be physical with us. I think
we did a better job after five minutes of matching their
intensity."



Marquette had an opportunity to take a one-game lead in the
league on Syracuse, but the Golden Eagles were left settling for
a first-place tie with the Orange. The Cardinals, meanwhile,
moved a half-game closer to both schools with their second
straight win, remaining in a four-way tie for third.



The Cardinals finished 27 of 52 from the field after a 1-for-8
start while holding the Golden Eagles (15-5, 6-2) to 36 percent
shooting (19 of 53). They also outrebounded Marquette 38-26.



"I think we really just locked in and keyed on every play from
the scouting report," said Louisville forward Chane Behanan, who
had five points and three rebounds. "Coach stressed the whole
week in practice that Marquette was a great smack-down team and
they got maybe just two or three against us. I'm thrilled with
how we played today."



Gorgui Dieng added eight points and eight rebounds for
Louisville.



Vander Blue had 17 points and Trent Lockett 16 for the Golden
Eagles, who have dropped two of their last four games.



The Cardinals unveiled all-white uniforms for the school's
"White Out" promotion that even involved coach Rick Pitino, who
was resplendent in an all-white suit.



"I wasn't going to wear it," the coach said, "but my daughters
kept texting me and said it's bad karma if you don't wear it."



But early on, Louisville's offense was as blank as its outfits.



The Cardinals trailed 9-1 behind 0-for-7 shooting and three
turnovers, going nearly six minutes before Montrezl Harrell
scored their first basket with a dunk at the 14:19 mark.
Marquette controlled the game for several more minutes, but the
freshman forward's shot helped shake the Cardinals from their
listless start.



A 24-9 run followed over the next nine minutes as the Cardinals
made 10 of their next 15 attempts. Wayne Blackshear, who missed
the previous game with a shoulder injury, hit three of his first
four shots.



"Coach just told us to do our jobs," said Blackshear, who
finished with nine points.



Stephan Van Treese added three rebounds in the half while
Harrell put a body in front of 6-foot-8, 290-pound Golden Eagles
reserve forward Davante Gardner, who went to the bench with his
second foul midway through the half. Marquette's second-leading
scorer finished with just two points and two rebounds in 13
minutes.



"You have to beat Louisville twice," Marquette coach Buzz
Williams said. "You have to beat them in the front court, then
you have to beat them in the backcourt. Going into today, one of
every three points that scored were based off turnovers. They
rebounded 42 percent of their missed shots. Those two numbers
are outstanding.



"That is why they are a top-five team."



Marquette struggled getting the ball into the paint and fell
victim to Louisville's pressure defense several other times. The
result was 10-of-31 shooting in the first half and a 38-24
deficit to the Cardinals.



Louisville's starters found their games, as well, with Smith
scoring 12 points and Siva nine in the first half. The Cardinals
stretched their lead to 53-30 about six minutes into the second
half when Luke Hancock made back-to-back 3s on feeds from Siva.



The Cardinals' lead reached 23 in the second half and Marquette
didn't get closer than 15 the rest of the way.



"I thought about every aspect tonight we did a really good job,"
Pitino said. "We really honed in on what they do well. We
rebounded well in stretches, went back door against them.
Really, really happy with our effort. We had them to six assists
in the game, which means good containment without rotating.



"We needed a good victory today and we got it."

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