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Williams leads Louisville to rout of Rutgers

Jan 22, 2009 - 6:09 AM PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- A huge first-half spurt made sure Louisville did not have to worry about a letdown on Wednesday.

Terrence Williams collected 23 points and 11 rebounds as the 12th-ranked Cardinals held Rutgers scoreless for nearly 10 minutes during the opening half en route to a 78-59 victory.

Freshman Samardo Samuels and Earl Clark scored 15 points apiece to help Louisville capture its sixth straight win and remain unbeaten in conference play.

Louisville (14-3, 5-0 Big East) was coming off a 69-63 win over then-No. 1 Pittsburgh Saturday and faced the chance of a complacent effort against one of the Big East's bottom feeders.

After falling behind 7-5 early, the Cardinals turned it on in a big way, scoring 23 consecutive points to build a double-digit advantage they would hold the rest of the way.

"Big runs have been one of our nemeses," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "We missed a ton of easy shots inside, we got good looks but just didn't make them. Also, I really wasn't happy with our transition (defense). They got out on that run, took advantage of our misses, and they converted them into easy baskets."

Williams, who highlighted the run with a couple of thunderous dunks, recorded the third double-double in his last four games and added four steals.

"He's a great player and he had a great game," Hill said. "Obviously he's a long, athletic player. He's their 3-man at 6-6, 6-7 and we're playing small. Those are going to be difficult matchups for us at times."

The Cardinals converted 59 percent (29-of-49) of their field-goal attempts and limited the Scarlet Knights to 39 percent (22-of-57), including 0-for-11 during the decisive run.

Freshman Mike Rosario scored 21 points and Gregory Echenique added 13 points and seven rebounds to lead Rutgers (9-10, 0-6).

"I think if you look at his line and see he knocked down some shots, I think it was because his legs were fresher," Hill said of Rosario. "I have to get him in and out of there more but at the same time, you need guys out there that can score for you and he certainly gives us an opportunity to score."

A 3-pointer by Corey Chandler cut the deficit to 13, 52-39, with 12:31 left to go in the second half. However, Louisville held Rutgers scoreless for the next three minutes to keep the home team at bay.

The Scarlet Knights are one of three teams who have yet to record a win in league play. Seton Hall and DePaul are also winless.

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    Louisville(12) 78, Rutgers 59  FinalJan 21 9:07 PM

    --- --- -----
    LOUISVILLE (12) 40 38 78
    RUTGERS 20 39 59 FINAL

    Jan 21 9:01 PM

    (12) LOUISVILLE 40
    RUTGERS 20 0:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Jan 21 7:50 PM