for this game

Louisville surging since early season loss

Dec 18, 2008 - 11:19 AM Mississippi (7-3) at No. 9 Louisville (6-1) 9:00 p.m. EST

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- An early season loss may have been a wake-up call for Louisville.

The ninth-ranked Cardinals go for their fifth straight win on Friday when they face Mississippi in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

Ranked third to start the campaign, Louisville opened with back-to-back wins only to suffer a 68-54 upset by Western Kentucky in Nashville on November 30.

The Cardinals have bounced back with a vengeance, winning their next three games by at least 22 points before claiming a 94-75 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday.

Preston Knowles scored 18 of his career-high 21 points off the bench in the second half while Terrence Williams had 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Freshman Samardo Samuels added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Louisville, which shot 50 percent (33-of-66) from the field against Austin Peay.

Mississippi has alternated losses and wins in its last four games, earning a hard-fought 85-81 victory against Alabama State on Monday.

David Huertas, the Rebels' leading-scorer, poured in 25 points as Ole Miss overcame Alabama State's 56.9 percent shooting (33-of-58) from the floor by hitting 20-of-25 free throws. The Hornets made only 6-of-11 from the charity stripe.