Recap: Louisville vs. Houston
Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Wayne Blackshear scored a career-high 23 points and Russ Smith added 18 as No. 18 Louisville crushed Houston, 91-52, in a American Athletic Conference mismatch on Thursday.
The Cardinals (15-3, 4-1 AAC) made 11 of their 15 3-pointers in the first half, as they jumped out huge lead at the break and cruised from there.
Luke Hancock chipped in with 10 points, and Terry Rozier donated nine with eight assists to the winning cause.
"(This was) a really good night for us. Our enthusiasm was off the charts. We were ready to play from the moment the ball went up," beamed Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.
The Cougars (10-7, 2-2) welcomed back double-digit scorers Danuel House and L.J. Rose, but the duo combined to miss all 11 of their field goal attempts. TaShawn Thomas scored 16 points and Jherrod Stiggers had 14 in the setback.
The Cardinals accounted for 12 of the game's first 14 points before the first television timeout, then hit five 3-pointers over the next five minutes, with Tim Henderson's triple spawning a 9-0 run that stretched Louisville's lead to 34-14 near the midway point of the opening half.
"They really came out and they punched us in the mouth early and hard, and I thought they played a terrific game," Houston head coach James Dickey said of Louisville. "We did not respond...and we just didn't play with energy and they pounded us."
The difference was a staggering 29 points, 57-28, in the Cardinals' favor at the break thanks to the Cardinals making 70 percent of their shots and 11 of their 15 3-point attempts. Smith went 4-for-4 from long distance and led the way with 14 points.
The second half allowed Louisville to empty its bench, and Blackshear took advantage with a 14-point showing to finish off the blowout.Game Notes
House had been out since Nov. 26 with a knee injury, and Rose was playing in
his first game since Dec. 9 due to a foot injury ... Houston is 0-8 all-time
in Louisville ... Louisville wound up shooting 51.5 percent overall and 15-
of-28 from 3-point range ... Houston made 30.8 percent of its shots.