Father knows best in Pitino vs. Pitino

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 19, 2012
Ncaa_basketball_louisville_a01e
Peyton Siva's career highs of five 3-pointers and 12 assists helped No. 5 Louisville roll past Florida International 79-55 on Wednesday night. It was the first meeting between Cardinals coach Rick Pitino and Richard Pitino, his son and Panthers counterpart. The younger Pitino, 30, served two stints as a Louisville assistant before taking over for Isiah Thomas at FIU this season. Siva finished with 15 points in posting his first double-double since the season opener. He was selected the game's MVP. Wayne Blackshear tied his career best with a game-high 18 points. Chane Behanan added 14 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double this season. The Cardinals (10-1) shot 49 percent and hit 12 3-pointers, tying a season high. They also committed just 11 turnovers in winning the 11th annual Billy Minardi Classic, named for Pitino's brother-in-law who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Tymell Murphy scored 12 points and 12 rebounds for FIU (3-5). Russ Smith added 14 points for Louisville, which held FIU to just 33 percent shooting and forced 14 turnovers leading to 25 points. However, the story of this game was Pitino vs. Pitino. The younger Pitino, whose second stint assisting his father included last season's Final Four trip, drew a nice cheer from the crowd of 21,411 during introductions. Before that was a moment in which their mannerisms had clearly been passed on, as each stood during the national anthem with their hands folded in front of them below their waists. Father and son also had their stomping moments, though the elder Pitino's pounding was louder and more frequent by comparison. Richard Pitino seemed more like Billy Donovan, the Florida coach and former Pitino assistant, but still had his team's attention, showing his disapproval with a piercing stare similar to his dad. And being a Pitino, the son obviously knew a little something about defense and his choice for the Panthers was a 2-3 zone. Louisville had no problems breaking through, as Smith opened with a 3-pointer and Blackshear and Price got shots inside. In fact, the Cardinals got more inside chances than they probably expected that soon, making seven of their first 12 inside the arc. That offset Louisville's 3-of-10 start from the perimeter, although Smith and Siva raised the statistics some by hitting 3-pointers 21 seconds apart. That provided the Cardinals some breathing room with a 31-19 lead that was helped by their man-to-man defense. After allowing the Panthers to start off 7 of 14 from the field through 10 minutes Louisville clamped down and held FIU to just 5 of 18 shooting for the rest of the first half. Blackshear meanwhile stayed in a groove and finished off a 15-point first half by scoring Louisville's final 10 points including two 3-pointers. He had three of the Cardinals' seven 3s in the first 20 minutes, helping them shoot 47 percent in building a 41-27 lead. Louisville's 12-3 run to open the second half made it 51-27, and FIU didn't score its first basket until the 13:40 mark. FIU closed the game by scoring the final nine points.
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