Strong second half helps Louisville bring down GeorgetownFeb 10, 2008 - 5:55 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- A big second-half run helped Louisville end Georgetown's winning streak and make the Big East Conference more than a one-team race.
Senior David Padgett scored a season-high 18 points and Jerry Smith added 16 as the Cardinals snapped the sixth-ranked Hoyas' six-game winning streak with a 59-51 victory in a Big East Conference matchup on Saturday.
Earl Clark chipped in nine points and seven rebounds for Louisville, which trailed by eight at the break after attempting a season-low 16 shots from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
"The guys did a terrific job, in the second half especially," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We were playing good basketball in the first half, but we were turning the ball over too much. I thought Earl did a lot of great things. He was very alive on the backboard and very alive on defense. All of our guys played terrific."
After the Hoyas stretched their lead to 33-23 when Roy Hibbert scored the first basket of the second half, the Cardinals took control and dominated the rest of the contest.
Louisville (18-6, 8-3 Big East) went on a game-changing 21-4 run - keyed by eight points from Smith - to open a 44-37 bulge with 9:49 remaining. Georgetown went scoreless for over eight minutes during that stretch.
"I just told them that as long as you play good defense, you've got a chance to win this game," Pitino said. "I told them that you've got to heat them up in the press and you've got to pressure them. This is a great win for us."
Jeremiah Rivers and Hibbert each hit layups to cut the deficit to three, but Louisville responded with six straight points - capped by a 3-pointer from Clark - to take a 50-41 lead with 4:43 remaining.
The Hoyas (19-3, 9-2), who shot just 35 percent (8-of-23) in the second half, could get no closer than five as the Cardinals made 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute.
"It was a different game the second half," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "I don't want to negate anything that they did, they were extremely attentive and turned up the heat a little bit. But I think it was a lapses on our part. They are a very good team. They play well together and that showed up in the second half."
The win moves the Cardinals, who were the co-preseason No. 1 team along with the Hoyas, into sole possession of third place in the conference - just one game behind Georgetown and one-half game behind Notre Dame (8-2).
Clinging to a two-point lead midway through the first half, Patrick Ewing Jr. scored four points during an 8-2 Georgetown spurt that gave the Hoyas a 22-14 lead with 4:57 left in the half.
The Cardinals had closed to within three but freshman Austin Freeman made a 3-pointer and a layup - after a Hibbert block - right before the halftime buzzer to give the Hoyas a 31-23 advantage at the intermission.
Freeman and Hibbert each had 14 points for Georgetown, which made only 4-of-22 shots from the arc while being outscored, 18-3, at the foul line.
"I think it is like Coach said, we just gotta keep running our offense," Hibbert said. "It is just that they played extremely well. I think we need to be more disciplined than we were."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
GEORGETOWN (6) 31 20 51
LOUISVILLE 23 36 59 FINAL
Feb 9 11:00 PM
- NCAA BB
(6) GEORGETOWN 31
LOUISVILLE 23 HALFTIME
Feb 9 9:46 PM
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