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Siva's late layup lifts No. 23 Louisville over West Virginia

Jan 27, 2011 - 6:28 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Peyton Siva's layup with five seconds left in regulation let 23rd-ranked Louisville escape with a 55-54 victory over West Virginia.

Chris Smith tallied 15 points and Siva checked in with 14 for the Cardinals (16-4, 5-2 Big East), who have won three of their last four. Preston Knowles contributed 10 points and five assists to the narrow decision.

"Basically, when you play West Virginia or you play Pittsburgh, the chances of you shooting well are not great," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "You've got to play defense and rebound the basketball. In the second half, we rebounded great. We played tremendous defense."

Joe Mazzulla posted 18 points with five boards for the Mountaineers (13-6, 4-3), who have dropped two of three. Dalton Pepper had 10 points and John Flowers pulled down nine rebounds in defeat.

Kevin Jones hit a jumper in the paint with 41 seconds to go which put West Virginia ahead 54-53.

Terrence Jennings missed a shot at the other end, and Jones came down with the rebound for WVU before Darryl Bryant drew a foul with 25.7 seconds to go. He missed both free throws, but Louisville grabbed the defensive board and drew a foul on Flowers. Off the inbound, the Cardinals couldn't find an open man then called time out with 13.9 seconds left.

Siva then sliced through traffic in the lane and forced an underhanded scoop shot that hit the backboard and went through.

Pepper's desperation three was wide of the net as time expired.

I thought we came out early and played like we were supposed to lose," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "We weren't very assertive and I thought we got pretty assertive."

Mazzulla tallied 18 points in the first half and the Mountaineers led 37-26 at the break.

Louisville rallied to pull even at 42-42 with 11:40 to play on a Jennings bucket, then led by as many as six, 53-47, with 3:43 remaining after a Smith jumper.

Game Notes

Louisville has won eight of the last 11 meetings...Jennings led the Cardinals with nine rebounds...Louisville connected on 8-of-24 shots from beyond the arc and limited West Virginia to 5-of-26 from long distance.