Louisville cruises past St. John's
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Russ Smith scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half, helping the 12th-ranked Louisville Cardinals bounce back from losing the longest game in school history with a 72-58 win over the St. John's Red Storm.
Smith added six rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Cardinals (20-5, 8-4 Big East), who played for the first time since Saturday's five- overtime setback to Notre Dame.
"I thought he gave us a spurt we needed," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said of Smith.
Gorgui Dieng contributed a double-double of 10 points with a career-high 17 rebounds.
The Red Storm (15-10, 7-6) were paced by the tandem of Phil Greene IV and D'Angelo Harrison. Greene scored 21 points and Harrison, who became the 48th St. John's player in history to reach 1,000 career points, had 18.
St. John's head coach Steve Lavin missed a second straight game following the passing of his father over the weekend.
Down nine after 20 minutes, the Red Storm opened the second half on a 10-0 burst. Louisville answered with a surge of its own and led 44-35 after Smith sank two free throws.
A Montrezl Harrell layup stretched the lead to 52-39 with 9:06 remaining.
St. John's trailed by double-digits the rest of the way.
"I thought our guys played hard. I thought they played hard for Coach (Steve) Lavin and his family. We will go back to the drawing board and hopefully we will get coach (Lavin) back here soon," St. John's assistant coach Rico Hines said.
The Cardinals went on an 11-0 run after Harrison opened the game's scoring with a 3-pointer. St. John's fought back and took a 19-16 lead when Amir Garrett hit a free throw to complete a three-point play.
Louisville, though, scored the final eight points of the frame and carried a 32-23 advantage into the break.
The Cardinals won 20 games for the 11th consecutive season ... Peyton Siva had 12 points and six assists for Louisville ... The Cardinals improved to 7-0 at home in the series with St. John's.
02/15 01:36:14 ET