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Smith helps Louisville past Long Beach State

Nov 29, 2011 - 6:43 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Chris Smith led five players in double digits with 18 points as No. 6 Louisville claimed a 79-66 victory over Long Beach State in the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Chane Behanan totaled 13 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals (6-0), who next face Vanderbilt on Friday. Russ Smith and Peyton Siva each contributed 11 points.

"To be honest with you, they did a great job in the first half," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "We ran out of gas in the second half because we haven't practiced at that pace. What we have been trying to do in practice is just execute and stay away from injuries. We have gotten a little out of shape to play that racehorse type basketball game, and we made a lot of mistakes."

Larry Anderson poured in 17 points for the 49ers (3-3), who have lost two in a row. Casper Ware totaled 13 with eight assists and T.J. Robinson added 12 points and seven boards in defeat.

Long Beach State trailed by double digits for most of the second half, but used a surge through the middle portion to reduce its deficit to 57-52. Ware finished off a three-point play to complete a 10-2 run with 8:35 remaining.

Anderson made 1-of-2 from the line to make it 60-55 with 6:39 on the clock, but Smith responded from long distance and Kyle Kuric hit two from the charity stripe to push the Louisville lead back into double digits at 65-55.

The 49ers never threatened from there.

"We got it to six and missed a reverse lay-in ... you can't do that against a team like that," Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson said. "Again, we never put the pressure on them to get a lead. They were always playing relaxed. When you have a good team like that playing relaxed, it's awfully tough to stop."

The Cardinals led 8-0 early on, then a 15-5 run ending on the other side of the midway point of the half pushed the margin to 28-14 after Smith drained a jumper.

Kuric's deuce provided a 35-19 edge with 7:20 left, and the 49ers were only able to come within 42-32 on a James Ennis trey before going to the break down 44-32 after two Smith free throws.

Game Notes

Ennis finished with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal...Siva and Anderson both committed six turnovers...Louisville shot better than 55 percent in the first half, including a 6-of-9 performance from beyond the arc.