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No. 24 Louisville routs Connecticut

Feb 7, 2012 - 4:43 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Chris Smith scored 16 points and Gorgui Dieng added 15 to lead No. 24 Louisville to a thorough 80-59 throttling of Connecticut.

Kyle Kuric chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds, while Chane Behanan grabbed 12 boards to go with seven points for the Cardinals (19-5, 7-4 Big East), winners of five straight.

Louisville made 11 three-pointers, while the Huskies (15-8, 5-6) shot just 3- of-14 from behind the arc in their fifth loss in six games.

Ryan Boatright paced Connecticut with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Leading scorer Jeremy Lamb was held to seven points, 11 below his season average.

Lamb was held scoreless in the first half, and Connecticut trailed 29-24 at the break.

Louisville extended its lead with a 9-1 run to start the second half, capped by Dieng's reverse slam 2 1/2 minutes in.

"I thought we were in good shape at the end of the half," said UConn interim head coach George Blaney, who for the second straight game was filling in for Jim Calhoun. "All we needed to do was come out in the second half and do the same thing. I thought we just let it get away from us."

The Cardinals held a 44-32 edge midway through and broke it open with a 16-2 run that Kuric highlighted with a tomahawk dunk in transition.

Dieng's slam off a steal in the backcourt ended the surge for a 26-point cushion, and Louisville coasted over the final seven minutes.

"That's about as good of a display that I've seen in quite some time," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "This was a very good confidence builder."

Game Notes

Louisville improved to 15-2 at KFC Yum! Center...Smith hit 4-of-6 from three- point range...Dieng also had six steals...Shabazz Napier, who came in averaging 13.3 points per game, shot 3-of-11 and had nine points for the Huskies.