for this game

Clark propels Louisville past Seton Hall

Mar 5, 2009 - 3:41 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Louisville remained in contention for the Big East Conference regular-season championship - thanks to one of its best offensive performances of the campaign.

Earl Clark scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the sixth-ranked Cardinals cruised to their sixth straight win, a 95-78 victory over Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Terrence Williams collected 16 points, 12 boards and three blocks for Louisville (24-5, 15-2 Big East), which still needs help to overtake Connecticut atop the conference standings.

Because the top-ranked Huskies won the lone matchup between the teams in the regular season, the Cardinals will need to win their final game at West Virginia and have Connecticut lose at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"We have one game to go," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We could potentially play for the Big East championship on the road. We are very excited about that. We know we have a tough challenge ahead of us and we are looking forward to the remaining games."

Clark, who shot 11-of-16 from the field, collected his 14th double-double this season to help Louisville reach its second-highest scoring output of the campaign.

"The more Earl gets inside, the more productive he is," Pitino said. "He is a tremendous force with his length, and he mixed it up tonight. He hit the turnaround, baseline jump shots, little runners in the lane, great offensive rebounding and played excellent defense. He did a terrific job."

Reserve Terrence Jennings finished with 14 points and Andre McGee added 11 for the Cardinals, who have won 16 of their last 18 contests.

"He played real well, really well," Pitino said of Jennings. "He is very active - blocks shots, rebounds, and plays the perimeter very well."

Robert Mitchell poured in 22 points and Jeremy Hazell chipped in 18 for the Pirates (15-14, 6-11), who have lost five of their last six games.

"We came in here trying to make it a game and obviously we were up against a lot tonight," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "Freedom Hall sold out is a tough place to play. These guys are sixth in the country."

The Cardinals began to pull away midway through the first half, going on a 22-7 run. The burst, which extended Louisville's advantage to 48-31 with 2:31 left, was started and capped on layups by Jennings.

Hazell buried a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in the half to cut Seton Hall's deficit to 51-40 at the break. But the Cardinals went on an 8-0 spurt, which included six points by Clark, to the start the second half to take a 19-point edge.