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11/18/2012 9:23 PM EST
No. 2 Louisville routs Miami (Ohio) 80-39
LOUISVILLE 80, MIAMI OH 39

By GARY GRAVES
AP Sports Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- No. 2 Louisville showed off its 3-point
shooting prowess.



The Cardinals came out hitting early and often in an 80-39 rout
of Miami (Ohio) on Sunday.



Louisville (3-0) finished 12 of 26 from the perimeter (46
percent) and eight of its first nine baskets were 3-pointers.



The Cardinals' 41-point victory margin was their largest since a
106-65 victory over Chattanooga on two years ago.



"People have been harping on our shooting the whole time,"
Cardinals guard Luke Hancock said, "but when we're getting open
looks and running the floor as a team, we can make shots."



Russ Smith provided the spark by hitting one 54 seconds in and
he finished a career-best five of seven from long distance for a
game-high 23 points. The junior guard has been the leading
scorer in all three Cardinals victories and is averaging 21.3
points per game.



Sophomore Wayne Blackshear started for the second consecutive
game at small forward and made a career-high four 3-pointers. He
also grabbed a career-best six rebounds.



Senior center Gorgui Dieng added 11 points and nine rebounds and
senior guard Peyton Siva matched a career high with 10 assists
for the Cardinals, who shot 48 percent overall.



Louisville's defense was just as impressive. The Cardinals held
Miami (1-2) to 30 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers, and
that seemed pleased coach Rick Pitino the most.



"We are a defensive team," he said. "We win with our defense. If
we shoot like we did tonight, everything looks great. Shooting,
without question, cures a multitude of sins. ...



"That is not us. I am happy we shot it well. I am happy we moved
the ball well, but we win because of defense."



Geovonie McKnight and Bill Edwards both scored seven points for
the Redhawks.



"Obviously they did a terrific job," Miami coach John Cooper
said. "They were just so much better than we were. Of course, we
couldn't score but I attribute most of that to their defense,
certainly."



With Thursday's game against Northern Iowa beginning a
challenging stretch of competition in the conclusion of the
Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, shooting was among
many things Louisville wanted to address.



The tough field includes No. 9 Duke, No. 14 Missouri and No. 17
Memphis, while Stanford, VCU and Minnesota received votes.



Part of Pitino's objective during the three-game homestand was
finding a good starting combination and that might explain why
Louisville started its third different lineup against Miami.



The Cardinals began with Smith, Siva, Dieng, Chane Behanan and
Blackshear while using Hancock as a reserve.



His other goal was seeing whether his team could sustain energy
from start to finish. Pitino was clearly concerned by his team's
finish Thursday against Samford: despite winning by 26 and
backing off the full-court press, Louisville was outscored 41-38
and allowed 50 percent shooting.



The Cardinals' lineup got off to a good start. Eight of
Louisville's first nine field goals were 3-pointers and the
Cardinals finished the first half better from outside the arc (9
of 16) than inside (3 of 13).



They hit five during a 23-2 run that made it 33-12, including
three in row by Smith en route to a 14-point half. Helping that
stretch was Louisville's press that disrupted the Miami guards,
while its zone thwarted the Redhawks' hopes of getting the ball
inside.



Miami shot just 24 percent, committed nine turnovers and were
outrebounded 22-17.



"We didn't play it (the zone) too much, "Pitino said. "But it
was good, we had a few good moments of it."



Louisville's 39-17 halftime lead grew to 49-17 as the Cardinals
kept up the press and forced four turnovers leading to easy,
shorter shots.



And the 3-pointers kept falling, including another by Smith
while falling out of bounds that made it 57-20.



"We just get in the gym and work every day," freshman forward
Montrezl Harrell said. "We told guys not to get their heads
down, just keep shooting the ball and eventually it's going to
go in."



Miami improved in the second half, but couldn't keep up with
Louisville, which outscored the Redhawks 41-22.

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