LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Francisco Garcia answered a brief
Tennessee State comeback with a personal run early in the second
The junior forward matched his career-high with 29 points,
including eight straight during a 27-4 Louisville knockout blow,
and the 19th-ranked Cardinals pulled away for a 98-64 victory
Showing his versatility, Garcia responded with 12 points during
Louisville's spurt. He scored on a layup and a dunk along with a
3-pointer and made five free throws. The dunk was set up when Brad
Gianiny threaded the Tennessee State defense with a perfect bounce
"We started off a little slow," Garcia said. "That's when I
know I have to be a leader and step up. It's my job to get
Garcia was 9-of-16 from the field, including four 3-pointers,
and made all seven of his free throws. Larry O'Bannon added three
3-pointers over Tennessee State's zone as the Cardinals (11-2) hit
12 from behind the arc despite the absence of 3-point specialist
Taquan Dean because of back spasms. O'Bannon and freshman Lorrenzo
Wade each finished with 14 points and Ellis Myles added 13 points
and 13 rebounds.
After Tennessee State moved within six points, Perrin Johnson
answered for Louisville by putting in his own miss and adding a
free throw to ignite an initial 14-2 run. Gianiny had a 3-pointer,
then Garcia reeled off eight consecutive points during a 13-2 run
that made it 63-34.
The Cardinals forced 15 turnovers for the game, converting them
into 22 points, and outrebounded Tennessee State 45-31.
"We have to get out on the break," Johnson said. "We shoot
the ball very well from the perimeter. If we do that, shoot the
ball well and rebound, we can play with anybody in the country."
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Johnson's play in the absence
of the injured Otis George would eventually give the Cardinals more
"If there's a silver lining in this cloud that keeps changing
direction, it's the development of Perrin Johnson because we need
frontcourt help," Pitino said.
Louisville's biggest first-half lead was 36-16 on a layup by
Myles with 3:56 left. Tennessee State answered with nine straight
points, including a 3-pointer by Price, to make it 36-25 at
Price finished with 24 points but missed several minutes during
Louisville's long second-half spurt after being carried off the
court with an apparent leg injury. Price later returned to the
Tennessee State coach Cy Alexander said his team wasn't the same
without Price during the crucial stretch.
"I think when he went down, our energy and our confidence shut
down and it was only shut down for 2 or 3 minutes," Alexander
said. "But when you're already down and on the road against a good
team, the lead can jump from six points to 20 points and that's
Eric King added 16 points for Tennessee State.
Juan Palacios had 14 rebounds for Louisville.
Louisville was 35-of-65 from the field (53.8 percent), while
Tennessee State was 23-of-62 (37.1 percent.) The Cardinals were
12-of-31 from 3-point range, and Tennessee State hit only eight of
The Cardinals' last four wins came against Ohio Valley
Conference teams in preparation for the start of Conference USA
play Wednesday at Houston.