for this game

Offensive surprise as Cardinals beat Huskies

Feb 19, 2011 - 8:25 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Peyton Siva scored 15 points, as No. 16 Louisville got scoring from unlikely sources in a 71-58 victory over 13th- ranked Connecticut in Big East action at KFC Yum! Center.

Three of the Cardinals' top four scorers -- Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric, and Terrence Jennings -- combined for 20 points. Knowles, the team's leading scorer, was particularly ineffective, shooting 2-for-13 and scoring only six points, though added seven assists.

Among those four players, only Siva reached double digits. Louisville (20-7, 9-5 Big East) also used 13 points and 12 rebounds from freshman center Gorgui Dieng to rebound from Wednesday's loss at Cincinnati, as well as 11 points and seven boards from Chris Smith.

"I thought Gorgui gave us a big gigantic lift on the back board," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "I thought our defense was tremendous and we did a lot of smart things on offense, but our defense was brilliant."

The Cardinals swept the season series with Connecticut, having defeated the Huskies in double-overtime on January 29.

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Kemba Walker scored 16 points apiece for Connecticut (20-6, 8-6), which had won its last two.

"The pressure got us a little bit, I don't really know why," said UConn head coach Jim Calhoun. "They outplayed us. They did a really good job of pounding the boards, of getting after loose balls."

The Cardinals took advantage of the Huskies' early offensive struggles, getting out to a 12-4 lead. UConn made only two baskets for the first eight minutes, and had only 10 points after 14 minutes.

That allowed Louisville to expand its advantage to double digits -- Knowles buried a three-pointer with 5:59 left to make it a 22-10 contest.

UConn's offense came alive after that, though, as Shabazz Napier, Coombs- McDaniel, and Walker all drained a three to cut into the Louisville lead.

The Huskies faced a 31-23 deficit at the break, then erased it by beginning the second half with a nine-point burst. Alex Oriakhi ended the run with a dunk, putting UConn ahead by a point about 2 1/2 minutes in.

But Kuric followed with his only six points, hitting consecutive long-distance shots. Siva added another to cap the counter-run and restore Louisville's advantage.

Moments later, Rakeem Buckles scored four consecutive points to expand the Cardinals' lead to 44-34, and the Huskies never made up the distance.

They were within 50-44 when Walker sank two free throws with a little more than eight minutes to play, but Dieng followed with a layup to start a six- point burst. Smith had the next four to make it a 56-44 contest, and the Cardinals held a substantial lead the rest of the way.

Game Notes

UConn shot 37 percent and committed 16 turnovers...Louisville made 41.5 percent of its shots, but only 12-of-20 free throws...Oriakhi ended with 13 points and eight boards for the Huskies...Siva had six steals.