Men's Basketball Closes February with Home Game Against Temple
February 27, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men’s basketball team has compiled a remarkable 6-0 record in February, and the Cardinals close the month with a home contest on Thursday against Temple at 9:05 p.m. ET.
The Feb. 27 game airs on ESPN2, with Dave O’Brien (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) calling the action. Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) will announce the game on WKRD 790 AM. The contest also is available on SIRIUS channel 85 and XM channel 85.
Temple leads the all-time series 4-2, with Louisville winning the most recent matchup on Valentine’s Day earlier this season. Behind a career-best 22 points and 10 rebounds from Montrezl Harrell, the Cardinals posted an 82-58 decision in the Liacouras Center on Feb. 14, a day later than originally scheduled due to weather. Russ Smith added 15 points, and Wayne Blackshear came off the bench and scored 13.
Louisville, which achieved its 20th victory of the year during February, is one of eight Division I schools nationally to win 20 or more games in each of the past 12 seasons.
The No. 7/4 Cardinals, recently, reached their 23rd win following a 58-57 decision at No. 7 and league leader Cincinnati. Louisville (23-4, 12-2 AAC) limited Cincinnati to just 28.6 percent shooting, including a 19.4 percent stint in the first half, and held the Bearcats to just 14 points in the paint.
Smith hit the game-winning jumper with 2.2 seconds remaining, as he finished with 10 points, five assists, and three steals. Reigning AAC Player of the Week Harrell tallied his sixth double-double in conference play with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Terry Rozier came off the bench and had 11 points and six rebounds. Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick had a game-high 28 points and was the only Bearcats player in double figures.
Currently, Smith is pacing the Cardinals with 17.5 points per game and has team bests in 3-pointers made (52), assists (122), and steals (50). He is 16 points shy of moving up to ninth on the school’s career scoring list. Harrell is averaging 13.0 points and 8.2 rebounds, while Hancock is totaling 14.2 points and 4.2 rebounds through the month of February.
Nationally, Louisville ranks in the top 10 in the country in scoring margin (No. 1, +20.7), turnover margin (No. 2, +6.8), steals per game (No. 3, 9.6), and total steals (No. 4, 258).
Temple (7-19, 2-12) comes into Thursday’s contest following an 82-79 overtime loss to No. 22 Memphis on Saturday, marking the Owls’ sixth loss in seven games. Their lone win over that stretch came in the form of a 71-64 decision over SMU.
Against the Tigers, three Temple players scored at least 20 points. Will Cummings had a game-high 24, but the Owls shot 40.5 percent from the game that included a 2-of-10 stint in overtime. Memphis scored 56 of its points in the paint and had 23 on the fast break. Shaq Goodwin totaled 20 for Memphis in the win.
Temple, which is led by Dalton Pepper’s 17.2 points, is one of only six teams in Division I to have four players averaging 13 or more points per game. Pepper has connected on 72 3-pointers this year and has a team-best 30 steals. Anthony Lee is the top rebounder at 8.8 points per game, while averaging 13.8 points.
Collectively, the Owls rank 17th nationally in fewest turnovers and rank 30th with just 10.4 turnovers per game.
The Owls are under the direction of eighth-year coach Fran Dunphy, who has guided the program to a 165-94 record. Temple was picked to finish fifth in the league in the preseason coaches’ poll after going 24-10 last season and reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. Temple