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Louisville rebounds from loss, tops UAB

Dec 28, 2008 - 12:43 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Terrence Williams fell three assists shy of a triple-double in leading 19th-ranked Louisville to a 82-62 triumph over Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday.

Williams led the Cardinals with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while Samardo Samuels collected 17 and 11 boards.

Louisville (8-2) closed the opening 20 minutes on a 10-2 run and led by double digits for nearly the entire second half.

Leading, 27-26, with 4:26 to go, Williams scored five of 10 first-half points during a 10-point Louisville surge before a dunk by Paul Delaney halted the run and made the score 37-28 at the break.

"We did a great job tonight with our zone. We really played intelligently," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "They got the ball to the foul line a few times when Samardo did not get off of his feet but, outside of that, we did a great job all night. We made some little mistakes of not handling the basketball well, but that is a credit to their defense."

Samuels added 10 points and six boards in the first half for Louisville, which bounced back from a 70-64 loss to Minnesota last Saturday. The Cardinals, who were a popular preseason Final Four pick, have not lived up to expectations so far this season in dropping a pair of contests against unranked foes.

The Blazers (8-4) stayed close thanks to the hot shooting of Robert Vaden, who scored 13 of his 22 points before halftime. The senior drained four shots from 3-point range as UAB hit 5-of-8 from long range in the opening half.

"I thought we played good defense on him," Pitino said. "He makes good shots. He has got very comfortable NBA range. He does not have to make an adjustment."

"First of all, we just weren't ready to play," UAB coach Mike Davis said. "The team we played today was much more prepared then we were. They played with passion and had a relentless approach to it and we played afraid early. If Vaden doesn't make those four threes it could have been over early."

Louisville held a 40-26 edge on the glass and sank 41 percent (11-of-27) from behind the 3-point arc while the Blazers hit 7-of-16 from three for the game.

Earl Clark, who came off the bench for the first time this season, had 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks for the Cardinals.

While Lawrence Kinnard had 19 points and eight rebounds and Delaney scored 16, only two other players combined to score five points for UAB.

"They sped us up and we didn't take care of the basketball," Davis said. "We made unforced turnovers, we knew they would come behind and try to speed us up. Once we got into the half court set, we got caught up in the crowd more than just focusing on executing offensively."