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Louisville tops West Virginia to win Big East title

Mar 8, 2009 - 6:47 AM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Terrence Williams scored 20 points, dished out seven assists and made six steals as No. 6 Louisville clinched the Big East Conference regular-season title with a 62-59 victory over West Virginia on Saturday.

The Cardinals received some help from No. 4 Pittsburgh earlier in the day. The Panthers posted a 70-60 triumph over top-ranked Connecticut, allowing Louisville a chance to claim the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament with a win in this one.

Earl Clark finished with 13 points and Jerry Smith added eight for the Cardinals (25-5, 16-2 Big East), who will enter the conference tournament on a seven-game winning streak.

"(Williams) played great and that's what great players do," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "The reality is they have three seniors that are all very good and they have another guy who is a junior who is very good."

Devin Ebanks collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and reserve Kevin Jones chipped in 19 points and eight boards for the Mountainers (21-10, 10-8), who had won five of their previous six contests.

After Williams missed a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining, West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler was off the mark on his 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the contest.

"Our game plan tonight was to smother the 3-point line," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Even when they came up at halfcourt we were dogging the guy. We did give up a lot of offensive rebounds because of the strategy, but it stopped them from making 3s."

Alex Ruoff, who is the Mountaineers' second-leading scorer, was held to no points after spending most of the game in foul trouble. The senior guard went 0-of-4 from the floor, missing a pair of shots from the arc in the final two minutes.

"What am I going to tell him?" Huggins said of Ruoff's disappointing senior night. "He knows I love him and he knows how proud I am of him. We're not done. We're a long way from being done."