Russ leads Cards to AAC finals, 94-65

03/14/2014 11:02 PM

Russ-diculous took things to a record-breaking level Friday night during Louisville’s semi-final match-up against the Houston Cougars. Despite the rest of the team’s slow start, Smith kept the Cardinals in the game early with his hot shooting. Smith had 16 of Louisville’s first 21 points of the game, equaling Houston’s entire team with 10:14 left in the first half.

The rest of the Cards joined in and the team pulled away from the Cougars going on a 26-10 run that was capped by Montrezl Harrell’s one-handed alley-oop to put the team up 47-26. Smith finished the half with a school record 27 points on 8-11 shooting from the field and 4-6 from behind the arc. Despite the historic performance, Coach Rick Pitino was not impressed after Houston finished the half on a 6-0 run, closing the gap to 15. When asked about Smith’s half, Pitino told ESPN’s Andy Katz, “Russ is well rested because he’s not guarding anybody.”

Louisville’s first team All-American continued rewriting the record books in the second half, finishing with a career-high 42 points. His point total was a new high for a Louisville player in a post-season game, surpassing Junior Bridgeman’s 39-year old record of 36.

The Cards extended their lead throughout the second half and beat the Cougars, 94-65. They face UConn in the AAC finals Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. The Huskies knocked off top-seeded Cincinnati 58-56 late Friday night.


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