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Williams leads Louisville to third straight win

Feb 21, 2009 - 11:45 PM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Terrence Williams appears to be recovered from a nagging wrist injury.

The versatile senior forward recorded 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists as No. 7 Louisville held off Cincinnati, 72-63, on Saturday for its third straight win.

Earl Clark chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals (21-5, 12-2 Big East), who have recovered from the 90-57 beatdown suffered at the hands of Notre Dame two weeks ago.

Louisville responded with two straight double-digit wins over DePaul and Providence.

Williams, who was limited in the win over DePaul, has 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists over the past two games.

"I played three games in a row and T-Will was not being himself because of being hurt," said Williams, who also grabbed three offensive boards. "I feel I'm back on track as far as playing well in the offense."

"I think Terrence is one of the best players in the country," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "This young man is a freak athlete, who has learned how to play the game. He's a great passer, defender, and has a great IQ of the game."

Williams scored seven points during a decisive 12-5 run that put the Cardinals ahead, 67-54, with 4:58 left.

He scored 10 points in the first half to help Louisville to a 37-34 lead, and finished 8-of-14 from the floor.

Pitino was asked what was his superstar's most impressive stat.

"I think his offensive rebounding because they are such a good rebounding team," Pitino said. "The passes he throws always leads to wide open things. He is 6-6 and reads everything. He is a (heck) of a basketball player. Some pro basketball team will be very lucky to have him."

Alvin Mitchell scored 14 points, while freshmen Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon each added 10 for the Bearcats (17-10, 7-7), who fell to 1-6 vs. ranked teams this season.

Louisville had a 38-27 advantage on the boards, with 17 offensive rebounds.

"Obviously, we got dominated on the defensive glass," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "It was the story of the game. We lost the effort-related statistics. We got physically outmanned. We got pushed around."