56 - 91 Final
  for this game

Clark nearly does it all as Louisville thumps Ohio

Dec 8, 2008 - 3:46 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Earl Clark fell two assists shy of a triple-double as No. 11 Louisville blew past Ohio, 91-56, in the Marques Maybin Classic on Sunday.

Clark had 17 points, 14 rebounds and career-high eight assists as the Cardinals (4-1) won their second straight contest following the upset loss at Western Kentucky last Sunday.

Freshman Samardo Samuels scored 19 points and Jerry Smith added 16 for Louisville, which connected on eight 3-pointers in the first half to grab a 44-27 lead at the break.

The Bobcats actually held a 12-10 lead following a 3-pointer by Justin Orr with 6:18 expired, but the Cardinals knocked down three straight baskets from the arc, including two from Preston Knowles, en route to a 11-0 run.

Clark also had a 3-pointer and scored five points on a later 15-3 burst, giving Louisville a 42-23 advantage with 3:03 before halftime.

"Besides playing a terrific basketball game, we played an intelligent basketball game," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Their zone gives people fits and our guys were did a fantastic job attacking the right seams and making the extra pass. On offense tonight, our guys were tremendous."

The Cardinals also had a 14-2 run in the early minutes of the second half, pulling ahead, 62-33, with 13:24 to play. Samuels scored the first 12 points before Clark added a pair of free throws.

"The way they shot the ball today, they did a good job of executing against our man and zone," Ohio coach John Groce said. "It was certainly the best I've seen them shot the ball from 3-point range. Guys stepped up and made shots."

The 6-9 Clark finished 7-of-11 from the field, pulled down four offensive rebounds and blocked a pair of shots to round out his stellar effort.

"He is very tough to defend because he poses a matchup problem for you in either way," Groce said. "He can post you because of his size if you have a smaller player on him, and then if you have a bigger player on him he has the ability to drive the ball and get to the line. I love his game."

Terrence Williams chipped in four points and nine rebounds for Louisville, which finished a dominant advantage on the boards, 46-26.

Since being outclassed in rebounds in the loss to Western Kentucky, 48-36, the Cardinals have bounced back to post a 91-60 advantage on the glass in their past two games.

"Ever since our rebounding stepped up, our basketball has stepped up and I'm really excited about that," Pitino said.

Jerome Tillman had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Bobcats (3-3), who shot 37 percent (19-of-51), including 5-of-19 on 3-pointers.

Steven Coleman and Tommy Freeman added eight points each for Ohio, which lost for the third time in four games.