No. 4 Louisville holds off Kentucky, 80-77

Louisville's Peyton Siva, right, goes over the top of Kentucky's Nerlins Noel for a layup during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville defeated Kentucky 80-77.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Louisville's Peyton Siva, right, goes over the top of Kentucky's Nerlins Noel for a layup during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville defeated Kentucky 80-77. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Russ Smith ranked Louisville's 80-77 victory over Kentucky on Saturday as one of the five favorites of his career.

Makes sense, considering he played a key role in ending the No. 4 Cardinals' four-game losing streak against the rival Wildcats.

Smith scored 21 points, including five of Louisville's final 13, along with seven rebounds to help the Cardinals hold off Kentucky in an up-and-down game.

The effort comes nearly a year after he came off the bench to score 30 in the Cardinals' 69-62 loss to the Wildcats in Lexington, one of two defeats last season to their in-state rivals that included last season's national semifinal. Kentucky went on to win its eighth national championship.

"This one probably ranks as one of the top five biggest wins of my life," said the junior guard, whose list includes last season's NCAA regional final, the round of 16 and Louisville's two wins that clinched the Big East Conference championship last March.

"We know where we messed up and we know the mistakes we made, but at the end of the day it's a win. It's not a conference win but it's a great non-conference win. It's a great win for the city. We're actually more happy for our fans than for ourselves. ... I guess revenge is the word, but it feels good beating the team that knocked you out of the Final Four."

Especially since that team, Kentucky, resides about 80 miles east and had recently owned the Battle of the Bluegrass. Louisville now has bragging rights, and Smith had help in getting them for the Cardinals.

Sophomore forward Chane Behanan had 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals, including a steal of Archie Goodwin's pass that led to his dunk with 18 seconds remaining that sealed the victory for Louisville (12-1) before a KFC Yum! Center crowd of 22,810.

"I feel like I could have done better," said Behanan, who had been banned from talking to the media this fall by coach Rick Pitino. "I took a lot of plays off throughout the game. I feel as though I could have gotten a lot more rebounds than I did. In a game like that you just give it your all to win it.

"It was my third time playing them. It just feels good to win, not for me but the city too."

Before fouling out Peyton Siva added 19 points for the Cardinals, who had to withstand several charges from Kentucky.

The Wildcats trailed 51-34 but outscored the Cardinals 28-14 to get within 65-62 before Smith's two baskets keyed an 8-5 run that gave Louisville some breathing room.

The Cardinals won despite four fouls by Smith and center Gorgui Dieng, who returned from a seven-game absence with a broken left wrist. The junior had six points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

"A great win for us because we had to battle a lot of bad foul trouble," Pitino said. "We survived with good plays from Chane and Russ. The offense and defense in the first half was spectacular then we lost our defensive presence in the second half because we were worried about foul trouble."

Goodwin scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half for Kentucky (8-4) and Ryan Harrow added 17 points.

Poor foul shooting hurt the Wildcats' comeback. They shot just 11 of 23 (48 percent) from the line, matching their percentage from the field.

Kentucky trailed 77-74 following a rare four-point play as Goodwin was fouled by Siva as he made a 3-pointer.

Kentucky coach John Calipari didn't call timeout after that, and Goodwin's turnover followed.

"Believe me, I was standing there thinking timeout and didn't call it," Calipari said. "That was the end of the game. I told them this one was on me and hopefully I'll do a better job.

"Stuff like that happens and I take responsibility. They (Louisville) deserved to win. But I didn't give our guys the chance they deserved with the way they played down the stretch."

Louisville also shot 48 percent from the field, but made 17 of 25 from the free throw line to win its seventh straight.

As might be expected from bitter in-state rivals, the early minutes were physical and intense with six ties and five lead changes. There were lineup changes for both teams.

Kentucky started 7-foot freshman Willie Cauley-Stein alongside 6-10 Nerlens Noel for the first time in an effort to establish a post presence against the Cardinals.

The Wildcats' move might have been a pre-emptive one with Louisville expected to start the 6-11 Dieng.

The Cardinals instead started 6-10 Zach Price but Dieng entered the game just 1:43 in and quickly made his presence felt with three rebounds, a block and a dunk that helped give Louisville a 12-10 lead.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the junior soon picked up his second foul and was replaced by Montrezl Harrell, who had seven points and four rebounds.

Louisville started 6 of 16 from the field and trailed 18-12, but went on a 13-2 run led by Behanan, who scored six points. He scored 11 points to help give the Cardinals a 36-28 lead at the half.

Kentucky came back behind three 3-pointers each by Kyle Wiltjer (14 points) and Goodwin, who finished 8 of 15 from the field. But Louisville survived because of a defense that forced 15 turnovers leading to 19 points and the end of a frustrating losing streak for the Cardinals and their fans.

"It finally gets the monkey off your back," Siva said. "You can stop thinking about it now and go out and play you don't have to get heckled by fans everywhere you go. For our fans this is like a national championship game. This feels good for them."

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Comments » 64

volforeverandever writes:

Poor seven teeth,Big Red is to much for little blue

Scoon writes:

No, the little refs were too much for Big Blue. Cats were robbed and that should be 'too' instead of 'to' in that erroneous sentence of your's above.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

No, the little refs were too much for Big Blue. Cats were robbed and that should be 'too' instead of 'to' in that erroneous sentence of your's above.

No,the little blue is what's erroneous.The BIG REDS just to much. The best in Ky.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Tucky loses and UT wins, it doesn't get any better than that..GBO!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Scoon:

No, the little refs were too much for Big Blue. Cats were robbed and that should be 'too' instead of 'to' in that erroneous sentence of your's above.

You don't mean to tell us that the refs were against Ky.? Kentucky has always had the refs bought off in Kentucky's favor.Kentucky always get the close calls as well as most of the others that are questionable.Take your loss and shut your loose lips.

Scoon writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

No,the little blue is what's erroneous.The BIG REDS just to much. The best in Ky.

Hey punk, did you even watch the game? Even the announcers were commenting that last foul called on KY wasn't a foul and should not have been called by those stupid refs. Stupid! And, you're gonna be eating those words come tourney time, but then again, I guess you won't really know anything about that, now will you? Oh, yeah, I did forget..NIT, yeah, you should be amply familiar with that one. Peace.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Scoon:

No, the little refs were too much for Big Blue. Cats were robbed and that should be 'too' instead of 'to' in that erroneous sentence of your's above.

Whaaaaaaaaaaa!! The refs cheated us!! whaaaaaaaa!!
Bwahahahahahaha!!!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Dang! We need SEC to win!. Darn it. Especially against a top 5.

Katphan29 writes:

Oh Lord, don't get in a tiff with UT fans when we lost by 3 on UL home court against the number 3 team in the nation. Show some class.

UT fans commenting on us losing to UL? Don't even dignify. This is UT basketball, shame on yourself for argueing with such a program.

Scoon writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Tucky loses and UT wins, it doesn't get any better than that..GBO!!

Hey ColdNose, shouldn't you be outside with that big ole cold snout of your's somewheres awallowing around in all this snow or something, instead of being inside playing on GoVols? Huh? I mean, after all, it is your season.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Scoon:

Hey ColdNose, shouldn't you be outside with that big ole cold snout of your's somewheres awallowing around in all this snow or something, instead of being inside playing on GoVols? Huh? I mean, after all, it is your season.

Actually I was out with my I-pad, but we only got about an inch of snow..Bummer..Looking forward to some brutal Winter weather this year, yeah baby!

DebKY writes:

Gorgui was called for his second foul when it should have been a Kentucky turnover. Siva's fifth foul was a make-up call for Noel.
Good win for the CARDS! All three of my favorite teams won today - Tennessee, Louisville, and Duke!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Calipari actually had a great game from the sideline.

Only one technical this time.

As for the punk,seven..........noticably absent. But he has fellow trolls standing in for him. This game wasn't nearly as close as the score if those 3's weren't dropping for the kitties. Regardless, a 20 point loss, or just a one point loss........the one and dones nevertheless go down.

Good for the game.

doh writes:

in response to Scoon:

Hey ColdNose, shouldn't you be outside with that big ole cold snout of your's somewheres awallowing around in all this snow or something, instead of being inside playing on GoVols? Huh? I mean, after all, it is your season.

Ky always gets home cooking from the refs. Its good to see the kitten fans crying about it.

Scoon writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

You don't mean to tell us that the refs were against Ky.? Kentucky has always had the refs bought off in Kentucky's favor.Kentucky always get the close calls as well as most of the others that are questionable.Take your loss and shut your loose lips.

Blowoff,

Rumors ... nothing, but vicious, conjectured rumors and none the less from less than zealous UK/SEC adversaries and envious haters ... I mean, afterall, what would one really expect for the premiere creme de la cream basketball program in the nation? Hmm? Poetry?

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

Hey punk, did you even watch the game? Even the announcers were commenting that last foul called on KY wasn't a foul and should not have been called by those stupid refs. Stupid! And, you're gonna be eating those words come tourney time, but then again, I guess you won't really know anything about that, now will you? Oh, yeah, I did forget..NIT, yeah, you should be amply familiar with that one. Peace.

Yes I watched little blue get beat. 2nd best in Ky. I agree wait till tournament time when BIG RED gets everyone back playing together instead of coming of injuries,then little blue won't even get a smell.

Scoon writes:

in response to DebKY:

Gorgui was called for his second foul when it should have been a Kentucky turnover. Siva's fifth foul was a make-up call for Noel.
Good win for the CARDS! All three of my favorite teams won today - Tennessee, Louisville, and Duke!!!

Well, if that is all three of your favorite teams, then you got some serious BAD tastes!!

Scoon writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

Yes I watched little blue get beat. 2nd best in Ky. I agree wait till tournament time when BIG RED gets everyone back playing together instead of coming of injuries,then little blue won't even get a smell.

If you are so devout volforeverandever, then how can you even sing across your lips the praises and glory of UL, who would 'easily' wipe off any smirks and knock off any 22's from vol's feet, if and when they ever got a change to pound on your skulls? Face it andever, in a race between last and last within collegiate basketball, you'd come in last. You'd be dead horsemeat against UK or UL. After all, they're both KY programs.

Scoon writes:

in response to doh:

Ky always gets home cooking from the refs. Its good to see the kitten fans crying about it.

Go suck on a lemon, doh.

Scoon writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Dang! We need SEC to win!. Darn it. Especially against a top 5.

If the Cats can't do it; nobody can.

Scoon writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

Calipari actually had a great game from the sideline.

Only one technical this time.

As for the punk,seven..........noticably absent. But he has fellow trolls standing in for him. This game wasn't nearly as close as the score if those 3's weren't dropping for the kitties. Regardless, a 20 point loss, or just a one point loss........the one and dones nevertheless go down.

Good for the game.

lol, that's funny !!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

If you are so devout volforeverandever, then how can you even sing across your lips the praises and glory of UL, who would 'easily' wipe off any smirks and knock off any 22's from vol's feet, if and when they ever got a change to pound on your skulls? Face it andever, in a race between last and last within collegiate basketball, you'd come in last. You'd be dead horsemeat against UK or UL. After all, they're both KY programs.

I don' know what you are babbling about.I said little blue got it's butt handed to them and it will be worse next time .2nd best in Ky.and that is a fact.

Scoon writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Oh Lord, don't get in a tiff with UT fans when we lost by 3 on UL home court against the number 3 team in the nation. Show some class.

UT fans commenting on us losing to UL? Don't even dignify. This is UT basketball, shame on yourself for argueing with such a program.

Better a 'tiff' than a 'sniff', 29. A sniff could get their faces boxed!!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

If the Cats can't do it; nobody can.

little blue proved it can't.

Scoon writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

I don' know what you are babbling about.I said little blue got it's butt handed to them and it will be worse next time .2nd best in Ky.and that is a fact.

Well, our butts were exactly handed to us as we simply beat ourselves on lost free throws at the Charity Strike. I mean, 10 out of 22 aint exactly good, and that is where UK 'must' improve. Other than that, for the most part, UK played a very respectable game against one of the most stringent Ds in the nation, basically barring none. That was youth against experience, and come tourney time, our youth will have experience, and be looking to hang Banner #9. Bank on it, devoted one.

Scoon writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

little blue proved it can't.

Then, nobody can, and btw, you looking forward to the NIT this March?

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

Well, our butts were exactly handed to us as we simply beat ourselves on lost free throws at the Charity Strike. I mean, 10 out of 22 aint exactly good, and that is where UK 'must' improve. Other than that, for the most part, UK played a very respectable game against one of the most stringent Ds in the nation, basically barring none. That was youth against experience, and come tourney time, our youth will have experience, and be looking to hang Banner #9. Bank on it, devoted one.

I would not bet money on that.If your not the best in Ky.you certainly will not be the best in the country.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

Well, our butts were exactly handed to us as we simply beat ourselves on lost free throws at the Charity Strike. I mean, 10 out of 22 aint exactly good, and that is where UK 'must' improve. Other than that, for the most part, UK played a very respectable game against one of the most stringent Ds in the nation, basically barring none. That was youth against experience, and come tourney time, our youth will have experience, and be looking to hang Banner #9. Bank on it, devoted one.

Would ky. really hang a banner saying 2nd best in Ky.

Snapshot writes:

Where you AT seven t?

Come on boy, you like to run your mouth after a win, so where are you?? The cats go down and you are nowhere to be found. What a chump.

Good game Cards!!

Scoon writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

I would not bet money on that.If your not the best in Ky.you certainly will not be the best in the country.

Well ... uuuh ... duh!?! Tourney times about 2.5 months away or so, and that gives a lot of growing space and time for the Cats to ascend unto our natural top spot... And, our lights will be shining, brightly!!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

Well ... uuuh ... duh!?! Tourney times about 2.5 months away or so, and that gives a lot of growing space and time for the Cats to ascend unto our natural top spot... And, our lights will be shining, brightly!!

This team will not.This will not be their last loss either.Cards will get better after getting everyone healthy and playing together again.little blue 2nd best in Ky. FACT

Scoon writes:

But, your team will ... meet in the NIT, that is. Cats will get better after everyone matures and learns to play together well, by tourney time.

volforeverandever needs masterful language arts lessons, pre-high school level, to learn to write well. Nothing personal, you see, just FACT.

Watching Maximus Decimus Meridius who was a Roman General who served Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in The Gladiator. Good movie. Peace.

Scoon writes:

And, it's really funny, cause I never watch movies ... except for the Grinch. This one I knew from long ago. It's good and so are going to be my Cats. Meow.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Scoon:

But, your team will ... meet in the NIT, that is. Cats will get better after everyone matures and learns to play together well, by tourney time.

volforeverandever needs masterful language arts lessons, pre-high school level, to learn to write well. Nothing personal, you see, just FACT.

Watching Maximus Decimus Meridius who was a Roman General who served Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in The Gladiator. Good movie. Peace.

Back to babbling again I see.You must be drinking hard after the loss.Go on then and hang that banner that says 2nd best in Ky. since you want to hang one.I have laughed to much tonight and I am going to bed.I hope your head does not hurt to badly from your hangover tomorrow.Hope the Romans do better than your cats.Goodnight.

Vol43 writes:

I thought it was a good game actually. Now, who played?

jt45 writes:

Calipari losing control of the refs ! Priceless

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

After talking junk the entire off season it's refreshing to see Scoon crying like the lil' biyotch he is. Be interesting to see if they put a sign in Calapari's yard like the 10 loss Tubby sign they put in Tubby Smith's yard. Boy oh boy... Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of fellas.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

What's Kentucky ranked? Oh well...always next year.

UT4prez writes:

Settle Scoon. Back where I found you many moons ago. Fighting a losing battle on too many fronts. I'm not stepping in this time. Kitty needs to learn on his own in this big bad world.

Scoon, you won't be cutting any nets this year. Not even the ones for the Final 4. Elite 8 is tops, Sweet 16 more likely. Solid season but probably not what you want.

Scoon writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

After talking junk the entire off season it's refreshing to see Scoon crying like the lil' biyotch he is. Be interesting to see if they put a sign in Calapari's yard like the 10 loss Tubby sign they put in Tubby Smith's yard. Boy oh boy... Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of fellas.

Ok, listen here 'PooBear! I don't see or hear nutin from you for months, not so much as even a peep, and then all the sudden you come on here with some kinduv hullabaloo such as this BS! Now, if that don't beat all. Who you think you are, anyways? And, no, I don't see nobody on here crying, except for 43 when he was ahanging his head out his car window back several months ago letting the rain beat him in the head after the home loss on your own home field against whoever that was at the time. He was eatin a cheeseburger with ketchup and fries and acrying the blues ... uh, or should I say acrying the oranges. But, that's beside the point.

And, as far as all the rest of this stupid blather on here you've spit out, my Cats and my coach are doing simply fine. Just extremely young and inexperienced, that's all, and if you think this is the end of all this poop-poo-pee-do uproar about my Cats and all that's been agoing on 'round the SEC, then you're nuttier than a squirrel with packed cheeks.

Scoon writes:

in response to Vol43:

I thought it was a good game actually. Now, who played?

43, are you hearing all this poo-poo-pee-do? Now, even prez is ajumping my case!

Prez, I'll deal withju later. I gotta try to get some sleep for pete's sake! .. good grief!!

UT4prez writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nope. We beat an ok team on our floor as we should. This is not the Xavier of the past few seasons. The next 4 games will help figure out where we are going. Less than 3 wins probably indicates NIT at best. 3 or more and maybe we dance. Going to the NCAA tourney would make for a good season.

punkin writes:

in response to Scoon:

43, are you hearing all this poo-poo-pee-do? Now, even prez is ajumping my case!

Prez, I'll deal withju later. I gotta try to get some sleep for pete's sake! .. good grief!!

Obviously scoon is a little but-hurt. Spent all night typing on a computer after his kitties got beat. Geez, 4 in the morning? Really? How long does it take for the meth to wear off? I guess your sister(wife)already went to bed.

SevenT writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

Poor seven teeth,Big Red is to much for little blue

Troll, got nothing else to do but call me out? Kentucky couldn't hit a free throw and blew it.

UT4prez writes:

in response to SevenT:

Troll, got nothing else to do but call me out? Kentucky couldn't hit a free throw and blew it.

Seven, Scoon, and any other KY fan on here, so far it seems UK and UT are in similar positions. Each has one good win and has lost to the other good teams on the schedule. The one difference is UT has been scraping by the other teams and UK is blowing them out. Elite 8 is the ceiling for UK and I'm going to guess the round of 32 is the best for UT. You never know once you get in though.

Scoon writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Seven, Scoon, and any other KY fan on here, so far it seems UK and UT are in similar positions. Each has one good win and has lost to the other good teams on the schedule. The one difference is UT has been scraping by the other teams and UK is blowing them out. Elite 8 is the ceiling for UK and I'm going to guess the round of 32 is the best for UT. You never know once you get in though.

Sounds like a plan, prez you and you are right ... we both currently are in 'somewhat' similar situations, BUT, the difference is that UK has all the potential in the world awaiting at our fingertips to break through that ... I would say 'basketball ceiling', but that was already done last year ... <ahem> and with all this very, very young talent that we have, and with all the exceptional talent coming in for next year, who knows where else we may go. As I see it currently, Nerlins Noel and company have nowheres else to go but straight up as opposed to other team's with more seasoned, veteran players like UT...who may have/have already peaked. Peaking is fun; but, it is even funner to know that there awaits even better 'peaks' within a path. Guess Ut bb wouldn't know anything 'bout that, though ... and, when we going to Vegas? Gatorbait keeps asking me.

Scoon writes:

in response to punkin:

Obviously scoon is a little but-hurt. Spent all night typing on a computer after his kitties got beat. Geez, 4 in the morning? Really? How long does it take for the meth to wear off? I guess your sister(wife)already went to bed.

Hey screwball. First thing you do is go and get on GoVols.com first thing in the morning when your eyelids (would say eyeballs, but I know I'd get called on it) ... your eyelids fling open and then you start running yor trap on here. And, apparently your wives and sisters in Tee aren't good enough and pleasing enough to keep 'em at home cause we got PTPer's acoming to KY from places like Clarksville, Tennessee and Alcoa, Tennessee off of Alcoa <ahem> Hwy., to find a decent place to reign and good people ... err..or, should I say good Cats, to play with. What's wrong there screwball? Not woman enough to keep 'em there at home there with you?? Humm??

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

Troll, got nothing else to do but call me out? Kentucky couldn't hit a free throw and blew it.

Are ewe in troll denial??
Go snort some seven dust and clear your mind.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sweep Sweep!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Scoon:

Better a 'tiff' than a 'sniff', 29. A sniff could get their faces boxed!!

I will have to apologize for our Tennessee fans.We should have struck your nerves much harder. You can dish out the poop,but you sure can't take it when it is given.

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