Posted January 12, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Louisville's objective against South Florida on Saturday was more about firming up its defense rather than avenging its last home loss.
Either way, the No. 3 Cardinals achieved both goals in convincing fashion.
Senior guard Peyton Siva scored 17 points to surpass 1,000 for his career and contributed a team-high three steals as Louisville held South Florida to a season-low 27 percent shooting for an easy 64-38 victory that also marked the Bulls' second-lowest point total in school history.
''We played the kind of defense we wanted to play,'' Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. ''They came out the entire evening and played incredible defense, the defense we've been waiting for and what we've wanted to see. I'm real proud of the guys. They did an incredible job tonight.''
Louisville (15-1, 3-0 Big East Conference) held South Florida to just 12 of 45 shooting including three of 17 in the first half. The field goals allowed were a season low for the Cardinals, two fewer than what Miami (Ohio) and Missouri-Kansas City made against them earlier this season.
Saturday's defensive effort follows what the Cardinals did in the second half of Wednesday night's 73-58 victory at Seton Hall, when they held the Pirates to just 8-of-28 shooting. Louisville also registered 12 steals for the second game in a row.
Center Gorgui Dieng added 12 points and 16 rebounds while forward Chane Behanan had 12 rebounds and seven points for the Cardinals, who won their 10th in a row. Behanan played just five days after injuring his left ankle in practice and missing Wednesday's victory against Seton Hall.
Siva meanwhile bounced back from 2-of-6 shooting against the Pirates to hit seven shots, including three 3-pointers. The Big East Conference preseason player of the year became the Cardinals' 64th player to reach 1,000 career points.
''It's a major accomplishment,'' said Siva, who reached the milestone with a reverse layup in a 13-point first half. ''I was just trying to go out there and get the win. I told Luke (Hancock) I should have dunked it, but no, I was just trying to get the win.
''To be in the club with a lot of Louisville greats is great. It's a great honor.''
The Cardinals dominated the boards 49-24 including a 19-6 edge in offensive rebounds. All that defense helped draw attention from Louisville's 38 percent shooting in a victory that avenged last February's home loss to USF that put the Cardinals' postseason hopes in doubt.
Louisville went on to win the Big East tournament and reach the Final Four. Most of the Cardinals' roster returned, and USF coach Stan Heath said that has made them a contender for the national championship.
''Dieng is so much better and Siva's making threes,'' Heath said. ''That was not the case in the past. You'd dare him to shoot and you'd be OK with it.
''They're legitimate. If they keep improving, keep working, they're legitimate to win it all.''
Victor Rudd came off the bench to score 10 points for South Florida (9-6, 0-3). But Louisville had this one from the outset.
The best news for the Cardinals was the sooner-than-expected return of Behanan, who sprained his left ankle in practice Monday and was expected to miss up to four games. But after watching the Cardinals' win at Seton Hall from campus, the sophomore declared himself available to play on Friday after X-rays that his pain was caused by a spur rather than the sprain.
Pitino vowed to play Behanan and inserted him during the first media timeout. Despite braces on both ankles, Behanan came out with spring in his step and quickly became a presence with a rebound, a tip-in basket and steal of an inbounds pass in his first two minutes alone. He ended up with eight rebounds in five minutes, exiting midway through the first half with nearly twice of USF's total (five) after 12 minutes.
''My whole foot was swollen for three days and there's still pain,'' Behanan said afterward with an ice pack on his ankle. ''But it's something I could tolerate and won't let dictate us getting out of the top five in the country. I can handle the pain. It's all right.''
Behanan added an alley-oop dunk on a lob from Siva to give Louisville a 19-3 lead that typified the Cardinals' first-half dominance. They led by as many as 25 before heading to the locker room with a 38-15 lead achieved mostly by relentless defense that made seven steals and forced 10 turnovers along with a whopping 30-10 rebounding edge including a 12-2 advantage offensively.
South Florida's poor shooting made some of those numbers possible. The Bulls shot just 23 percent in the first 20 minutes (five of 22) and made just two baskets in the first 10 minutes, resulting in a season low for first half points and their worst overall half since shooting 6 of 26 in the second half of a 58-53 loss to Western Michigan on Nov. 18.
The Cardinals stretched their lead to 30 with seven minutes remaining in the game.
JoVantae Hawkins had nine points and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick seven for the Bulls.
BEST OF MAXIM
Every player has that one opponent that for some reason brings out the best in them. For Louisville senior point guard Peyton Siva, the UConn Huskies are the team for him. In six games against the Huskies in his career, Siva is 5-1.
PS3 has had some of his best individual performances against UConn. In his last four games against the Huskies, Siva is averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 assists...
Louisville had a busy day, climbing to No. 1 in the Associated Press rankings, flying to Hartford, and then needing a second-half rally to beat Connecticut. To no one's surprise, Peyton Siva was in the middle of it all.
University of Louisville senior point guard Peyton Siva led the Cardinals in scoring on Saturday and also reached a special milestone. Siva scored 17 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career during a 64-38 victory over South Florida in a Big East Conference contest.
Peyton Siva scored 17 points and No. 3 Louisville held South Florida to a season-low 27 percent shooting for an easy 64-38 victory on Saturday.
Center Gorgui Dieng added 12 points and 16 rebounds while forward Chane Behanan had 12 rebounds and seven points for the Cardinals (15-1, 3-0 Big East), who won their 10th in a row. Behanan played just five days after injuring his left ankle...
Peyton Siva scored 17 points - including his 1,000th career point - and Louisville's defense smothered South Florida for a 68-34 win in a Big East Conference game on Saturday.
Coach: Rich Pitino (10 seasons at Louisville 275-106) Overall 627-230, 26 years
2011-12: Record 30-10 overall, 10-8 in Big East (7th)
Starters Returning (3) Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan
Preseason Tournament: Battle of Atlantis
Top Non-Conference Games: at Memphis, vs. Kentucky
Transfer Out: Jared Swosphire (Northwestern), Elisha Justice
Sat Out: Luke Hancock...
Peyton Siva joined the 1,000 point club as Louisville beat South Florida 64-38.
The game was never really close from the start as Louisville took control early and never relented. Peyton Siva was on a mission and was almost unconscious from beyond the arch for a stretch in the first half. Siva was 7 for 11 for 17 points. The points took away from his facilitating to teammates...
University of Louisville sophomore Chane Behanan missed one game with a sprained ankle but it appears he will be back in action on Saturday when the Cardinals host South Florida in the KFC Yum! Center. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and Cardinal Authority will be courtside for the event.
From start to finish, the South Florida Bulls were no match for Louisville. This one was ugly for all forty minutes. The Cards used an 18-point half time lead to cruise to a 64-38 blowout win.
Peyton Siva led the Cards with 17 points and early in the second half became a member of Louisville’s illustrious 1,000 point club. He now has 1,004 for his career. Siva is the first member...
Peyton Siva has been named as one of the 20 finalists for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award. This award is given to the nation’s top point guard. Siva was a top 20 finalist last year as well.
The current listing of 20 finalists for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to 10 players in early February and then down five players by early March. The final five players in contention...
Louisville’s 64-38 victory over South Florida is the 10th straight victory for the Cards.
The Bulls 38 points is the lowest ever in USF history and ties with the Cards match-up against College of Charleston for the fewest allowed this season.
Senior point guard Peyton Siva scored 17 points en route to joining Louisville’s all time career 1000 point scorers. The UofL program...
Rick Pitino shared some pretty surprising news this afternoon as he met with the media to preview Louisville’s match-up with South Florida tomorrow afternoon.
Just two days after announcing that starting forward Chane Behanan would miss seven-to-ten days and possibly miss up to four games with a sprained ankle, Pitino now says he expects Behanan to play tomorrow.
Coach Pitino says...
Rick Pitino’s team responded tonight exactly like the number one team is supposed to. Despite being down double digits in the first half, Louisville stuck with their game plan and withheld an early run from UConn, cruising to a 73-58 win.
The Cards had a rough start offensively and UConn couldn’t seem to miss in the first half. Peyton Siva picking up two quick fouls in the first...
Tale of two halves. After trailing by six at halftime, the Cards outscored UCONN by 21 points in the second half (45-24). The Huskies were also held under 26% from the field in the second half.
Russ Smith played all 20 minutes in the first half en route to a 23 point performance after 33 total minutes.
After getting very little opportunity in the first half, Chane Behanan exploded...
South Florida coach Stan Heath called last season's win at Louisville the program's biggest since he arrived in 2007.
The Bulls couldn't repeat their performance on Saturday, losing 64-38 to the No. 3 Cardinals.
It was the lowest point total since 1997 for South Florida (9-6, 0-3 Big East), which used last year's 58-51 victory as a springboard to the NCAA tournament...