Skip to content

Louisville defends no. 1 ranking, pushes past UConn

Jan 14, 2013, 9:10 PM EST

Rick Pitino, Wayne Blackshear, Peyton Siva AP

Early in the first half, Louisville, fresh off their newly-minted no. 1 team status on Monday afternoon, looked shaky. And you could hear the pundits on Twitter, wondering how the Cardinals would respond.

The second half was their response.

The Cardinals(16-1, 4-0 Big East Conference) held the Huskies (12-4, 2-2) without a point for over four minutes in the half, surged ahead, eventually making it a 73-58 final margin in Hartford.

The start for UConn was as good as they could’ve imagined, stretching their lead to 29-19 with 4:11 left in the first half. The half concluded with Omar Calhoun taking advantage of a Louisville mistake when, as the shot clock expired, Chane Behanan gave up on a rebound with two seconds left on the game clock. Calhoun laid the ball in for a 34-28 halftime edge.

However, the defensive pressure, the thing the Cardinals are known for, went up in the second half. The Cardinals got it back to a tie at 36-36 just three-and-a-half minutes into the half and, tied at 41-41 with 15:30 left, went on a 19-3 run over the next 7:36 to pull away.

The Cardinals outscored the Huskies 45-26 in second half, shooting 60.7-percent overall and 42.9-percent from three-point range. UConn shot just 16.7-percent from three in the half.

Russ Smith finished with 23 points and kept Louisville in the game early, scoring 15 of the team’s first 24 points. Calhoun had a career night for UConn with 20 points.

The first defense is the hardest, and Louisville did their job, though I’m not sure a start like they had on Monday night will be able to fly on Saturday night, when they play at home against Syracuse.

Unfortunately for UConn, this is the first time this season that I’ve seen a glimpse of last year’s Huskies. They got down during the offensive slump midway through the second half and allowed the Cardinals to pounce. I’m in no way saying this team will revert back to that form, they wont because Kevin Ollie has this team’s total focus, but they did that tonight. Though it’s easy to see why with Smith and Peyton Siva forming possibly the best backcourt in college basketball.

Gorgui Dieng finished with 16 rebounds to go along with six points.

David Harten is the editor and founder of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Latest Posts
  1. Gilvydas Biruta’s putback as time expires saves Rhode Island (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 11:24 PM EST

    Gilvydas Biruta, Matt Hubbard Gilvydas Biruta, Matt Hubbard

    Rhode Island moved to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in Atlantic 10 play with the win over Fordham.

  2. UConn loses reserve guard to stress fracture in right tibia

    Jan 28, 2015, 10:52 PM EST

    Sam Cassell Jr., Darrell Davis Sam Cassell Jr., Darrell Davis

    The Huskies will be short one perimeter option when they take on Cincinnati Thursday night.

  3. Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke

    Jan 28, 2015, 9:56 PM EST

    Jerian Grant stole the show for No. 8 Notre Dame (AP Photo) AP

    Jerian Grant was the headliner for the Fighting Irish, but he had plenty of help as they erased a ten-point second half deficit.

  4. 2015 McDonald’s All-American rosters announced

    Jan 28, 2015, 6:25 PM EST

    (adidas) (adidas)

    Nine uncommitted players, with Duke and (get this) LSU leading the way with two each.

  5. Maryland to wear shoes honoring program’s storied past Thursday night

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:54 PM EST

    Maryland Athletics Maryland Athletics

    The year of Maryland’s lone national title (2002) and the program’s former home can be seen in the graphics on this special shoe.

  6. Georgetown lands commitment from Class of 2015 wing

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    John Thompson III AP

    Johnson was considering some other high major programs.

  7. Report: Stanford’s Reid Travis to return on Wednesday

    Jan 28, 2015, 12:39 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Travis is a key piece for the Cardinal front court.

  8. Pregame Shootaround: Get ready for Duke-Notre Dame

    Jan 28, 2015, 11:17 AM EST

    J.P. Tokoto, Jerian Grant AP

    A thrilling top ten battle highlights the night.

  9. Michigan’s Derrick Walton missed Tuesday with foot injury, extent unknown

    Jan 28, 2015, 10:25 AM EST

    Derrick Walton Jr. (AP Photo) AP

    You know what Michigan doesn’t need? More injuries.

  10. Heartbreak fuels Renardo Sidney’s new sense of purpose

    Jan 28, 2015, 9:16 AM EST

    Photo via the Island Storm facebook page Photo via the Island Storm facebook page

    We have heard Renardo Sidney say he is a changed man before. He explains why a two-year hiatus from basketball has changed him.

  11. Late Night Snacks: Florida, Xavier, West Virginia earn good road wins; VCU rolls past George Washington

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:35 PM EST

    wvu Getty Images

    Xavier and West Virginia earned nice conference road wins while VCU rolled over George Washington.

  12. #POSTERIZED: Dorian Finney-Smith with the rare game-winning poster (VIDEO)

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:16 PM EST

    MISSISSIPPI FLORIDA MISSISSIPPI FLORIDA

    Florida needed this win badly. Dorian Finney-Smith dunked them there.

  13. Wyoming guard Riley Grabau banks in 3/4 court first-half buzzer-beater against Utah State (VIDEO)

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:55 PM EST

    Wyoming v UNLV Getty Images

    Wyoming’s Riley Grabau banked in a buzzer-beater from long distance to end the first half against Utah State.

  14. Uncertainty still plagues South Florida forward after weekend hospitalization

    Jan 27, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Chris Perry AP

    South Florida is still without its most productive player after after he went into the hospital with chest pains this weekend.

  15. Colorado gets a commitment from Class of 2016 guard

    Jan 27, 2015, 6:00 PM EST

    Tad Boyle AP

    Colorado gets another guard in the 2016 class.

  16. Akron to play second-annual ‘Purple Out’ in purple uniforms to help raise pancreatic cancer awareness

    Jan 27, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    (Akron Athletics) (Akron Athletics)

    Akron is having its second-annual “Purple Out” against Ball State to help raise pancreatic cancer awareness.