Akron 85

(3-2, 0-2 away)

(5) Louisville 111

(5-0, 5-0 home)

    1:05 PM ET, December 10, 2005

    1 2 T
    AKR 37 4885
    #5LOU 46 65111

    Top Performers

    Akron: R. Travis 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Louisville: T. Dean 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast

    Five Cardinals score double figures in rout of Akron

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Juan Palacios caught the ball in the lane, then flicked a behind-the-back pass to Louisville teammate Brian Johnson, who hit a reverse layup and drew the foul.

    Minutes later, guard Terrence Williams grabbed an outlet pass from Taquan Dean, dribbled the ball around his body, crashed into Akron's Zach Sowers and still managed to hang in the air long enough to make the basket.

    Standing in front of the Louisville bench, coach Rick Pitino couldn't help but smile. How could he not? During Louisville's 111-85 rout of the Zips on Saturday, Pitino thinks he might have seen his real team for the first time all year.

    "I thought all our guys were terrific," Pitino said. "We're pulling it together. We see the potential. This was by far our best game of the year."

    Dean led five Cardinals in double figures, scoring 22 points as Louisville posted its highest point total at home since 1999. The Cardinals (5-0) shot 60 percent from the floor -- including 71 percent in the second half -- to prevent the Zips (3-2) from beating a ranked team for the first time in school history.

    Romeo Travis led Akron with 21 points, but the Zips had no answer for the balanced and unselfish Cardinals. Louisville had 31 assists on 40 field goals and turned the ball over only nine times.

    "No matter what we played, we couldn't guard them," said Akron coach Keith Dambrot. "We didn't get it done. We couldn't keep them in front of us, we couldn't keep them off the boards, we couldn't keep them out of transition."

    The Cardinals had relied heavily on Dean during an ugly 53-45 win over Richmond on Monday. By the time Dean got rolling in the second half against the Zips, Palacios and center David Padgett already had given the Cardinals a double-digit lead.

    Akron managed to stick around in the first half and trailed 46-37 at the break. But Louisville opened the second half with a 15-6 run and quickly pulled away.

    "Once everybody got together and got going, this is what I expected," Dean said. "[Palacios] is starting to get better and once we get David [Padgett] going, the sky is the limit."

    Palacios, still recovering from a dislocated ankle, continued to improve, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

    "Palacios played really well, I couldn't believe some of the passes he made," Padgett said. "It looked like the old Palacios. It's good to see him passing the ball like that."

    Padgett had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Williams posted a season-high 13 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the floor. Five days after facing Richmond's grind-it-out offense, the Cardinals were eager to race up and down the floor with the uptempo Zips.

    "When you get to run like that, it makes you look good," Padgett said. "I thought we did a great job of sharing the basketball, giving it up to everybody."

    Darryl Peterson scored 16 points for the Zips and Nick Dials added 12, but Akron couldn't keep up with the Cardinals, who scored 40 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

    "We just didn't have it," Dambrot said. "They shot the ball well, but we gave them too many easy baskets."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 111
    FG Made-Attempted 31-64 (.484) 40-66 (.606)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-26 (.385) 12-22 (.545)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-16 (.813) 19-27 (.704)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 26

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 10, 2005 @LOU 111, AKR 85Recap