Scores

Final

Charleston 63

(4-4, 0-1 Southern)

(11) Louisville 78

(8-1, 8-0 home)

    8:05 PM ET, December 21, 2005

    1 2 T
    COFC 23 4063
    #11LOU 34 4478

    Top Performers

    College Of Charleston: D. Draper 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Louisville: T. Williams 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Louisville has easy time against College Of Charlston

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Brandon Jenkins and Terrence Williams made sure Taquan Dean's slump wouldn't stop Louisville's domination of the Billy Minardi Classic.

    Jenkins scored 13 points on his way to earning MVP honors and Williams led the Cardinals (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today; No. 11 AP) with 16 points and eight rebounds in a 78-63 victory over the College of Charleston to win the tournament they host for the fourth time in as many years.

    Though Dean continued to struggle, going 2-of-11 from the field, the Cardinals (8-1) won their 11th straight game at Freedom Hall behind the steady Jenkins and the high-flying Williams.

    After the Cougars (4-4) pulled within 46-42 with 11:20 to play, Jenkins, Williams and Andre McGee combined for 16 points in a frantic 21-5 run that Williams capped with a steal and breakaway dunk.

    "I just want to do whatever Coach wants me to, play nine minutes or play 20 minutes," Williams said. "I'm happy with the way I played. It's the best overall game for this team. I think we played better defense tonight."

    Dontaye Draper led Charleston with 16 points and Josh Jackson added 13. The Cougars outrebounded Louisville 37-33 but allowed the Cardinals to shoot 54 percent in the second half.

    "They had some guys really step up for them," Charleston coach Tom Herrion said. "They shot the ball extremely well. Inevitably, I thought the 3-point shot beat us tonight."

    Williams led the way, going 4-of-6 from 3-point range while mixing in a handful of acrobatic drives to the basket.

    "My teammates were giving me the ball and I was open, it was just like I do in practice," Williams said. "Coach (Rick) Pitino tells us to shoot, his exact words are 'Just bust it."

    The points were nice, but Pitino said he's more pleased with his team's defense. The Cardinals were exposed in a loss at Kentucky last Saturday and played poorly in the second half of a win over Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday.

    "I think we could be a good offensive team, but we just have to be a good defensive team, that's how you win on the road," Pitino said. "It's going to take some time. We're a work in progress, but I think we're making headway in that area."

    For the better part of two seasons Jenkins has considered himself the tone-setter on defense. Now it seems his offense is catching up. One night after posting a career-high 20 points, he followed it with 33 efficient minutes, going 6-of-10 from the field and handing out four assists.

    "It comes with practice," Jenkins said. "I just take the ball to the middle of the floor. Coach says to take it to the E in the Big East sign (in the lane) or I can make the extra pass. Coach says, 'Think score first and the pass will come."

    The Cardinals began the game with the kind of sustained defensive intensity Pitino has been pleading for the last two weeks. Louisville contested shots, rebounded and ran the floor while building a 26-11 lead.

    When the Louisville slowed down to catch its breath, Charleston caught up. Renardo Dickerson hit a jumper to end an 8-minute field goal drought and start a 12-3 run by the Cougars, who drew within 29-23 with 2:49 to go in the half.

    Dean, just 8-of-27 from the field over his last two games, tried to put the Cardinals back in control before halftime, but nothing worked. During one possession late in the half he airballed a 3-pointer and had another shot blocked.

    His night didn't get any better in the second half. Dean collided with center David Padgett while going for a rebound and was on the floor for a minute before slowly pulling himself up. He stayed in the game, but labored the rest of the way.

    "He was a little banged up tonight and I think he's just pressing a little bit because he's banged up," Pitino said. "He'll be fine. He's just got to use his offense to get up his shots."

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    COFC
    LOU
    Points 63 78
    FG Made-Attempted 19-52 (.365) 29-59 (.492)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-15 (.467) 12-27 (.444)
    FT Made-Attempted 18-27 (.667) 8-16 (.500)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 21

    2005-06 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Dec 21, 2005 @LOU 78, COFC 63Recap