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(Saturday, December 15th)
Final Score: (6) Louisville 87, Memphis 78
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Chane Behanan scored 22 points and No. 6 Louisville overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to rally for a 87-78 win over Memphis at FedExForum.
Behanan recorded 16 of his points after halftime for a Cardinals team that trailed 54-44 with under 12 1/2 minutes to play before outscoring the Tigers by a 43-24 margin the rest of the way to notch its fourth consecutive victory.
"We put in a lot of plays this week, a lot of things for Chane Behanan, and we ignored him (in the first half), and it doesn't pay to work on it all week," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "At halftime, I just gave them a piece of my mind saying, you've got a great player here, but you're ignoring him.
"They got the message and they didn't ignore him."
Russ Smith chipped in 19 points and Peyton Siva amassed 19 as well to go along with seven assists for Louisville (9-1), which shot 6-of-9 from 3-point range in the second half to aid in the comeback.
The Cardinals, the nation's leader in turnover margin, also forced 24 Memphis giveaways that led to 29 points for the game.
Joe Jackson finished with 23 points and Tarik Black had 21 for the Tigers. Jackson added eight assists, but was charged with eight turnovers as Memphis (6-3) had a four-game win streak halted.
Memphis led nearly the entire first half and stayed on top for a good part of the second, and the Tigers appeared poised to spring the upset after Geron Johnson's steal and dunk gave the Tigers a 10-point cushion with 12:26 left.
The Cardinals would get back into it on the strength of their long-distance shooting, with Luke Hancock burying a pair of 3-pointers and Behanan knocking down another within a span of just over a minute as Louisville quickly closed the gap to 54-53.
"We were in a zone to protect our foul trouble," said Tigers head coach Josh Pastner of Louisville's surge. "They were 1-of-8 in the first half from three, and they hadn't shot well from three all year long. We have to give them credit for making them."
Behanan sank 1-of-2 foul shots with 10:45 to go to knot the score, and the Cardinals made three more free throws while the Tigers continued to go cold to go up 57-54 just past the midway mark of the second half.
The contest remained tight for several minutes, with Memphis getting to within 68-64 on Black's jumper with 3:36 left to play. Behanan scored on the other end, however, and Siva converted a transition layup after Jackson missed two free throws shortly afterward.
The two buckets ignited a 6-0 run that extended Louisville's advantage to 10 points heading into the game's final two minutes.
Memphis built a lead as much as 16 points early on, with Jackson and D.J. Stephens each accounting for five points during a 14-2 tear that put the Tigers ahead by a 25-9 count with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tigers owned a 29-19 edge later in the frame before a 9-0 Louisville sequence that culminated with Hancock's trey made it a 1-point game. However, Memphis registered the last six points and took a 35-28 lead into the break following Shaq Goodwin's fast-break dunk in the final minute.
Over 35 percent of Louisville's scoring total this season has come off turnovers, with the Cardinals recording 274 points from takeaways through their first 10 games ... Smith went just 3-of-11 from the field for Louisville, but made all 12 of his free throw attempts ... The Cardinals ended 38-of-46 from the charity stripe for the game, compared to 14-of-20 for Memphis ... Louisville has now won four straight in the series, with the programs meeting for only the second time since the Cardinals exited Conference USA to join the Big East following the 2004-05 season.
12/15 20:25:25 ET
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