SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- No. 10 Louisville turned to its defense to
help overcome a lengthy offensive drought in the second half of
Saturday's 58-43 victory over Miami.
"We score in bunches," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said.
"When we did it, we fed off our defense."
Juan Palacios scored 19 points and hit two 3-pointers in a late
17-0 run for the Cardinals in the Orange Bowl Classic.
Taquan Dean had 13 points and David Padgett added 11 points and
13 rebounds for the Cardinals (11-1). Dean and Padgett each played
after picking up a fourth personal foul midway through the second
Guillermo Diaz, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was held
scoreless for the second time in his career. The junior missed all
10 shots, including four 3-pointers, and a free throw.
"I don't have this kind of game against good teams. I usually
come out and play ... but it happens," said Diaz, who entered the
game averaging 22.7 points against 10 ranked opponents the past two
Louisville's aggressive defense often resulted in guard Brandon
Jenkins being near Diaz.
"That was my assignment -- not making it so comfortable for
him," Jenkins said.
Louisville, which had one field goal in the first 14:38 of the
second half, trailed 39-38 before Terrence Williams made two free
throws and then hit a corner jumper to give the Cardinals a
three-point lead. Palacios followed by hitting consecutive
3-pointers to give Louisville a 48-39 lead with 3:39 left.
Following a timeout, the Cardinals scored the next seven points
to make it a 17-0 run. Hite's two free throws with 1:23 left ended
"We didn't panic," said Palacios, one of several Cardinals who
played despite a stomach virus. "I knew if we kept playing defense
we'd be fine."
Louisville failed to score during the first 6:53 of the second
half, while Miami scored nine points to pull within 34-33.
Trailing 38-33, Miami scored six straight points to take its
first lead of the game. Hite's slam finished a fast break and gave
the Hurricanes a 39-38 edge with 7:27 left. Miami failed to score
in the next 6:04.
"We fought so hard to get back into the game and for us to fall
apart, it's tough," Hite said.
Louisville made four 3-pointers -- the first two by Palacios -- in
building a 16-5 lead 5:01 into the game. Miami failed to get within
six the rest of the half as the Cardinals took a 34-24 lead.
Diaz failed to score in double figures for just the second time
in 40 games, and went scoreless for the first time since facing
South Carolina State on Nov. 23, 2004.