Louisville rallies to edge upset-minded BobcatsNov 26, 2011 - 4:13 AM
Chane Behanan added 11 points and Gorgui Dieng totaled 10 points and 16 rebounds to notch his second career double-double in the win.
The Cardinals (5-0) trailed 51-46 with under three minutes remaining, but outscored Ohio 13-3 down the stretch to clinch coach Rick Pitino's 250th win with the program.
"We're in a survival mode right now," Pitino said. "We are so banged up; we lack practice so much. Our practices right now are just so light and so easy. I'm afraid to get somebody hurt. We're just trying to survive right now and just hold off the enemy until the cavalry comes and gives us some relief."
D.J. Cooper paced the Bobcats (3-1) with 16 points, while Reggie Keely and Stevie Taylor finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
"We didn't come here for a moral victory," Ohio coach John Groce said. "Our guys believed that they could win the game, and then to get into position to win the game and then to not finish was disappointing."
The Cardinals held a 28-23 lead at the break, but Ohio opened the second half with a 5-0 run to tie the game, triggering a frenetic back-and-forth finish.
Midway through the half, Louisville charged ahead with a 9-0 run, taking a 41-32 lead on Dieng's jam.
Again the Bobcats proved resilient, tying the game at 43 with 5:14 remaining, then taking a 49-43 lead behind six straight points from Cooper.
First, the junior guard buried a deep trey. He then a drew a foul on a penetration layup and drained the subsequent free throw.
Kuric responded with a three-pointer before Keely's layup made it 51-46, setting up the Cardinals furious three-minute finish.
Chris Smith made a pair of free throws before Kuric's trey tied the game at 51.
Following a Keely turnover, Smith threw down an emphatic slam off an inbounds pass to give Louisville a lead it would not relinquish.
Cooper followed a Behanan layup with a three, but Peyton Siva and Behanan both went 2-of-2 from the charity stripe to seal the UofL victory.
Earlier, Ohio took a 21-18 first-half lead on Keely's jumper, but Louisville closed with a 10-2 run to enter the break with the advantage.
Kuric and Dieng both scored six first-half points to pace the Cardinals, while Taylor provided a spark for the Bobcats, scoring eight points on 3-of-6 shooting off the bench.
The Cardinals hold a 10-3 all-time lead over the Bobcats. The teams last met on December 7, 2008, with Louisville earning a 91-56 victory...Pitino became the eighth coach in NCAA Division I history to compile 250 or more wins with one school and 200-plus wins with another (Kentucky).
- OHIO: 54
Nov 25 9:08 PM
- OHIO: 23
Nov 25 7:55 PM
- OHIO: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 25 7:11 PM
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