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Louisville destroys overmatched Savannah State

Nov 25, 2014 - 3:48 AM Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Montrezl Harrell put up 15 points and nine rebounds, and sixth-ranked Louisville put on a defensive clinic in an 87-26 domination of Savannah State at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Cardinals scored the game's first 29 points, led 41-7 at halftime and rendered Savannah State into a 10-of-51 shooting night while forcing 26 turnovers and owning a lopsided 54-28 rebounding advantage.

Chinanu Onuaku led Louisville's smothering defensive display with six blocks in addition to tallying 10 points and nine rebounds. Wayne Blackshear added 13 points and Terry Rozier finished with 11 in 16 minutes for the Cardinals (4-0).

Savannah State (2-3), which also misfired on all 16 of its 3-point attempts, was paced by Alante Fenner's eight points.

Rick Pitino's 699th career win was in the books early as Louisville completely imposed its will on the grossly overmatched Tigers, who missed their initial 23 shots from the floor and didn't record their first point until Saadiq Muhammad hit 1-of-2 free throws with 4:02 remaining in the opening half.

Savannah State was down 29-0 at the time, with the Cardinals having induced 12 turnovers by that point -- seven of which came in the game's first six-plus minutes.

"I don't think I did a great job of trying to get my guys into the first four minutes of the game," Savannah State head coach Horace Broadnax remarked. "We needed to drop a bucket down and kind of break the ice a little bit."

Rozier had 10 points all by himself -- more than the Tigers' entire first-half output -- before Savannah State hit the board.

Khalen Pinkett finally ended the Tigers' field goal drought by connecting on a jumper 1:23 prior to the intermission. Savannah State finished the frame a woeful 2-for-26 from the field.

An apologetic Pitino said afterward he won't even watch the tape of the humiliating result.

"This will be the first time since I've been at Louisville where I will not watch the film," he stated. "You get really nothing out of this, you really don't, and you feel bad for the other team more than anything else."

The Tigers fared only marginally better after the break, with the differential swelling to 53 points as Louisville began the second half on a 22-3 run to expand the lead to 63-10 with 12:24 to play. Harrell had eight points during the surge.

Game Notes

Savannah State already holds the NCAA record for the fewest field goals in a half, having made just one in a loss to Kansas State in 2008 ... The Division I record for fewest points in a half is four, set by Northern Illinois against Eastern Michigan on January 26, 2013 ... Louisville guard Chris Jones had nine points in 17 minutes before exiting in the second half with a leg injury ... The Cardinals rolled to a 71-45 win in the only previous meeting between the schools, which took place in December of 2006.