7:15 PM ET, March 29, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Even a nasty cold can't stop Russ Smith.With his teammates struggling with the virus he gave them and top-seeded Louisville facing its toughest test of the postseason, Russ put on his best show yet. He matched his career high of 31 points and the Cardinals proved they can win close games, too, beating Oregon 77-69 on Friday night.
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NCAA Mens Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: A detail of NCAA Official Wilson basketballs are seen racked up on the court prior...(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Around Champ Week
MVP: Louisville guard Russ Smith picked a good time to tie his career high with 31 points, scoring 16 by halftime. He was 9-for-16 from the field and 12-for-14 from the free throw line.
X factor: Led by Smith, the Cardinals shot 53.8 percent against the Ducks (who had allowed foes to make 41 percent of their shots this season). Louisville also outscored Oregon 42-34 in the paint.
That was ... not as close as the final score may indicate: Louisville took a 16-point lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, but Oregon -- to its credit -- stuck around and stuck around, hovering around at a 10-to-12-point deficit until Damyean Dotson's jumper with 5:13 left cut Louisville's lead to 70-64. But the Cardinals scored the next six points, and the Ducks never got any closer.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-61 (.443)||28-52 (.538)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-14 (.357)||4-13 (.308)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-17 (.588)||17-26 (.654)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||19 (0/0)|
|» Mar 29, 2013||@LOU 77, ORE 69||Recap|
Louisville scored 42 points in the paint Friday and is averaging 42.7 paint points per game in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship. The Cardinals are the first team in the last four tournaments to score at least 40 points in the paint in three consecutive games.
Louisville was able to win Friday despite having little success forcing turnovers. The Cardinals scored 14 points off 12 Oregon turnovers, tied for its second-fewest points off turnovers in a game this season. Louisville had 30 deflections against Oregon, its fewest in the tournament thus far. The Cardinals have a goal of 35 deflections in each game.[+]
Russ Smith scored 14 of Louisville's 18 transition points Friday, 12 of which came in the first half. Smith is now averaging 10.3 transition points per game and has scored 31 of Louisville's 58 transition points (53.4 percent) in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship. Entering Friday's games, no player in the field was averaging more than 9.0 transition points per game in the tournament.[+]
Louisville Transition Offense
Russ Smith has 81 points in Louisville's first three tournament games. That's the most in school history, passing Jim Price, who scored 80 in 1972.[+]
Most Points in 1st 3 Games in Men's Basketball Championship - Louisville History
ESPN Stats & Information