Cards Win Big In First Game As No. 1

01/14/2013 07:55 PM

The Louisville Cardinals came out victorious in their first game as the nation’s No. 1 team, as they overcame a six-point halftime deficit with swarming defense to pull away from host UConn 73-58.

The Cards struggled early as point guard Peyton Siva picked up two early fouls and sat for most of the game’s 20 minutes. UConn would lead by as many as 10 points in the first half and took a 34-28 lead into the locker room.

But UofL quickly took control once Siva returned. UConn’s highly-touted backcourt of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright wore down thanks to Louisville’s relentless pressure spear-headed by Siva and Russ Smith. Smith was also the sparkplug of the UofL offense, scoring 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

Chane Behanan, who was largely ignored in the first half, dominated in the second once his teammates started getting him the ball, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds and a team-high five assists. Center Gorgui Dieng hauled in 16 boards.

The Cards return to action Saturday at home against sixth-ranked Syracuse.


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