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(Friday, November 23rd)
Final Score: (2) Louisville 84, (13) Missouri 61
Paradise Island, Bahamas (Sports Network) - Luke Hancock netted a game-high 19 points off the bench, as No. 2 Louisville eased past 13th-ranked Missouri, 84-61, in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Russ Smith filled the stat sheet with 18 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists for the Cardinals (5-0), who will face No. 5 Duke in the championship game on Saturday.
"We consider it a big treat to play them for a championship," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of the matchup against Duke. "We feel we got the guys to play in that championship and win."
Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan added 13 points apiece in the victory.
Phil Pressey had 15 points and seven assists, while Alex Oriakhi contributed 15 points with eight rebounds for Missouri (4-1), which will play VCU in the third-place game.
"We shot well. It was the turnovers," Missouri coach Frank Haith admitted. "We just had some careless plays. We have to find a ways to make plays. Guys were trying to make home run plays instead of the easy plays."
It was a one-possession game over the first six-plus minutes of action until a 14-3 run by Louisville gave the Cardinals a 14-6 advantage.
Missouri answered with a brief 6-3 push before Siva connected on a 3-pointer that was followed by a Gorgui Dieng jumper to give Louisville a double-digit lead, 22-12, at the midpoint of the first half.
The Tigers battled back with an 11-3 spurt to get within 25-23 on Pressey's jumper, but the Cardinals outscored Missouri by a mark of 14-8 over the rest of the half to carry a 39-31 edge into the break.
After Missouri netted the first four points of the second half to close its gap to four, Smith and Hancock each connected on a 3-pointer as part of an 11-0 run that stretched Louisville's lead up to 50-35.
The Tigers never got closer than 10 points for the remainder of the game as Louisville gradually pulled away for the big win.
The all-time series between the teams is now tied, 2-2 ... It was the first meeting between the teams since 1989 ... Hancock made five of Louisville's nine 3-pointers. The Cardinals finished 9-of-21 from beyond the arc ... Missouri made five 3-pointers as a team (5-for-15) ... Missouri held a 37-32 advantage on the glass.
11/24 02:17:48 ET
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