Smith powers Louisville to blowout of FIU
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Russ Smith scored a game-high 18 points to help lead the No. 6 Louisville Cardinals to a comfortable 85-56 win over FIU at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Saturday.
Wayne Blackshear tallied 13 points and Montrezl Harrell chipped in with 10 points for the Cardinals (11-1), who play at intrastate rival Kentucky next Saturday.
Formal Cardinal Rakeem Buckles had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Tymell Murphy led the Panthers (8-5) with 16 points. Jerome Frink finished with 10 for Florida International.
Murphy's free throw kept the Panthers within one at the 14:13 mark of the first half, but Louisville used a 12-0 run to take a 22-9 lead with 10:22 to play in the half.
The Panthers responded by scoring 10 of the next 12 to climb back within five with 3:06 remaining in the half, but the Cardinals answered by scoring the final nine of the frame.
Chris Jones lobbed an alley-oop pass from beyond-the-arc to Harrell, who threw down a dunk to end the half and extend the lead to 39-25.
A series of Louisville 3-pointers by Luke Hancock and Terry Rozier gave the Cards a 54-32 advantage at the 12:56 mark in the second and they coasted the rest of the way.
The Cardinals shot 54.2 percent (13-24) from beyond the arc. The final margin was Louisville's largest lead of the game.
The Golden Panthers are 0-22 all-time against ranked opponents ... FIU committed 20 turnovers.
12/21 21:09:03 ET