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Louisville pulls away late to beat UNLV

Nov 22, 2007 - 7:33 AM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Earl Clark had a double-double and No. 6 Louisville used a big second-half surge to post a 68-48 victory over UNLV on Wednesday.

Clark scored 16 points and added 13 rebounds and Jerry Smith had 14 points for Louisville (3-0).

The Cardinals had a double-digit lead in the first half but were up by only 26-23 at the break and found themselves down, 35-33, in the second half.

Curtis Terry hit a 3-pointer to give the Rebels a 35-33 lead with 14:40 to play but then the Cardinals pulled away.

Louisville went on a 16-2 run to take a 49-37 lead and cruised from there. Clark capped the spurt with a dunk with 9:06 to play.

"We made an adjustment with our zone defense," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We couldn't stop them from making the three, so we went to a man-to-man for the rest of the game."

Matt Shaw scored 11 points and Wink Adams and Joe Darger each added nine for UNLV (3-1), which had its 19-game home-court winning streak snapped.

"Any time you play a top five team in the country logically you would think you would have to shoot it well, and we didn't," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "Give credit to Louisville for some of that."

The Cardinals had won its first two games in routs and were playing on the road for the first time this season.

Louisville is in town for the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday and Saturday, and will meet Brigham Young in the semifinals with a potential meeting against No. 1 North Carolina looming in the finals.

The Cardinals were playing their first game without David Padgett. Louisville's starting center, Padgett will miss at least 10 weeks and could be sidelined for the season after breaking his right kneecap in Sunday's 84-53 rout of Jackson State.