LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The beards are safe. Not so the noses.
The No. 11 Louisville Cardinals, playing their third game since taking a vow not to shave until they lose, got 19 points from senior All-American guard Russ Smith and beat South Florida 80-54 in a sloppy game on Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
Senior forward Luke Hancock, who had 16 points, suffered a bloody nose on the first play of the game when he was clouted on a drive to the basket.
Having beaten South Florida (12-15, 3-11 American Athletic Conference) by 39 points in Florida 26 days ago, Louisville (22-4, 11-2) looked sloppy at times, letting USF cut a 30-14 lead to 30-21 late in the first half before regrouping. The Cardinals led 46-28 at halftime.
Evidence of Louisville’s lackadaisical play was South Florida hitting 10 of its first 15 shots from the field.
The Bulls then opened the second half with a 6-0 run as Louisville sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell picked up his third and fourth fouls 30 seconds into the half. The third foul came when he inadvertently ran into a USF player while coming down the court. When he threw up his hands, a technical was called, giving him four fouls.
Coach Rick Pitino promptly yanked him in favor of junior Wayne Blackshear, who proceeded to pick up his third and fourth fouls within a minute. He was replaced by freshman forward Akou Agau, and Pitino delivered a few choice words to his team during a subsequent timeout.
Whatever he said had an effect because the Cards went on a 29-13 run to lead 75-47.
Senior forward Victor Rudd led South Florida with 27 points. He was the only USF player in double figures.
The Bulls ended up making 11-of-19 shots from the field in the first half (58 percent) and finished 22-of-45 (48.9 percent). Louisville made 34-of-71 (47.9 percent).
The Cardinals had a 36-30 edge in rebounding and had 10 steals to the Bulls’ two.
Louisville senior center Stephan Van Treese had eight rebounds and junior point guard Chris Jones added three steals.
Harrell finished with 14 points after getting 12 in the first half. He had three dunks, setting a school season record with 62.
Louisville freshman reserve guard Terry Rozier had 13 points, his second double-figure game in a row.
The Cardinals got 12 points from Harrell and 11 from Smith en route to a 46-28 lead at halftime.
Louisville looked a little sloppy at times, letting the Bulls cut a 30-14 lead to 30-21 before regrouping.
Rudd led USF with 11 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Bulls ended up making 11-of-19 shots from the field in the half (58 percent).
Louisville was 19-of-35 (54 percent). The Cardinals had a 16-10 edge in rebounding.
NOTES: Louisville will play next at Cincinnati on Saturday at noon. The Cards trail the No. 7 Bearcats by one game in the loss column in the American Athletic Conference. UC won 69-66 at Louisville on Jan. 30. … South Florida has eight days off before entertaining No. 21 Connecticut on Feb. 26. UConn beat visiting USF 83-40 on Feb. 12. … USF junior point guard Anthony Collins missed his 17th straight game because of left knee soreness. He also missed the first two games of the season. In the eight games he played, he averaged 6.9 points and 5.9 assists. … Louisville is playing is third game in five days.
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