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Kuric leads the way as Louisville downs DePaul

Feb 6, 2011 - 5:22 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Kyle Kuric scored a game-best 19 points to help No. 15 Louisville slip past lowly DePaul, 61-57.

Terrence Jennings and Chris Smith each tallied 10 points for the Cardinals (18-5, 7-3 Big East), who have won three of their last four games. Jennings added eight rebounds while Peyton Siva had six points and dished out 10 assists.

"We're winning, but we're not improving, because we're not practicing," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "We're holding on. I'm very encouraged by the guys. It's very difficult line-ups we have to play. You have to give a lot of credit to DePaul."

Brandon Young had 15 points for the Blue Demons (6-16, 0-10), who have lost 10 straight and remain in the Big East cellar. Cleveland Melvin was the only other DePaul scorer to reach double-digit points with 12.

The Blue Demons held a slim lead through the first part of the second half, however, Smith's three-pointer with 14 minutes to play put the Cards up 44-43.

A few minutes later, Kuric's three-point play and Smiths' two free throws handed Louisville a 49-45 lead. But the hosts could not shake DePaul, until Kuric's trey with two minutes left put them away for good, 60-54.

The Cards held onto the edge as Siva's 1-of-2 showing at the free throw line put the game away with five seconds remaining.

"I am very disappointed that we ended up losing this game," said DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. "Our guys played hard and tough, and we deserved a little better. It didn't seem like we got any breaks going down the stretch."

DePaul ripped off six straight points to take a 17-10 lead with 11:20 left to play in the first half. Louisville stormed back with back-to-back threes from Smith and Mike Marra to take a 21-19 edge with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Less than a minute later, Cleveland's layin knotted the game at 21 then Blue Demons went on an 11-2 run to take a surprising 32-23 edge following a pair of Jeremiah Kelly's treys.

The home team clamped down the final three minutes to finish the half with a 11-2 run to make up for the 34-34 score at the break.

Game Notes

UofL will now play four in a row against some of the top teams in the conference -- Notre Dame, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Connecticut...Louisville owns a 35-21 edge in the all-time series with DePaul, which includes wins in each of the last seven meetings...Siva as 0-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc.