for this game

Louisville bounces back in rout of DePaul

Feb 16, 2009 - 12:40 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- A matchup with Big East doormat DePaul proved to be the perfect antidote for Louisville.

Preston Knowles scored 19 points off the bench as the seventh-ranked Cardinals bounced back from their worst loss under coach Rick Pitino with a 99-54 victory over the Blue Demons on Sunday.

Earl Clark and Samardo Samuels each had 12 points for the Cardinals (19-5, 10-2 Big East), who shot 50 percent (18-of-36) from beyond the arc.

Dar Tucker scored 17 points for DePaul (8-18, 0-13), which has lost 13 straight.

Tucker and DePaul happened to have the unfortunate luck of facing an angry Louisville team that was embarrassed by Notre Dame on Thursday, 90-57. It was the biggest loss in Pitino's eight years at Louisville.

"(Louisville) shot the ball terrific. They took great shots. I got some phone calls after the Louisville vs. Notre Dame game and I think a few people administered us last rites after the game was over," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said.

Still, Pitino was not as tough on his team as you might think following the huge loss. He noted that the Fighting Irish were desperate having lost seven straight.

"You didn't realize what you were going into. Now, you don't realize, (Notre Dame senior guard) Kyle McAlarney walks out of that door, he loses - his chances at the NCAA tournament is over.

"They (Notre Dame) have to beat Louisville. You didn't realize what was at stake. I would be upset if we lost by one or 30, but I would only be upset just until I woke up the next morning."

Pitino had nothing to be upset about on Sunday.

The Cardinals took control early, scoring the first 13 points of the game and carried a 51-21 lead into the locker room.

Clark scored 11 points in the half and Knowles hit three of Louisville's nine 3-pointers. The Cardinals shot 57 percent (20-of-35) in the opening 20 minutes and nearly matched their point total from Thursday.

Louisville's signature full-court pressure defense was much more effective as well, forcing 16 turnovers and holding DePaul to just 34 percent (20-of-58) from the floor.

"Our team obviously had two great practices, probably our two best practices of the season," Pitino said. "We earned the fruits from our labor that we put in. Everybody really stepped up and did a fantastic job of executing."

Reginald Delk scored 10 points in his first career start in place of Terrence Williams, the Cardinals' best all-around player. Williams, who has been nursing a sore wrist, played 15 minutes had five assists and two rebounds and did not take a shot.

"He fell in practice yesterday right on his elbow that was as bad of a fall as I have seen in a long time," Pitino said. "We thought that he broke it. We accomplished what we set out to accomplish and got a victory. I think he will be fine come Providence."

Mac Koshwal registered 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Demons, who knew they were facing an uphill battle based on what transpired in South Bend last Thursday.

"It was a bad time to play them for us," Wainwright said. "It was a great lesson for our young kids. All I can do is wish Louisville the best of luck in the future."