LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- A quick look at the University of Louisville's 80-39 win over Miami of Ohio in the KFC Yum! Center Friday afternoon, a win that improved the No. 2-ranked Cardinals to 3-0.
PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Russ Smith scored 14 points before Cardinal fans had even gotten comfortable in their seats. He opened U of L's scoring with a 3-pointer and made 4 of 5 from beyond the arc in the first half. He then scored the first four points of the second half to start U of L on its best 40-minute effort of the young season. He finished with 23 points.
STAT OF THE GAME -- All of the angst about U of L's perimeter shooting will have to take a couple of days off. The Cards shot the three-pointer better than two-pointers in the first half against Miami. They went 9 of 16 in the half from 3-point range (matching their high from their previous two games) while making on three of 13 two-point shots. For the game, U of L made 12 of 26 three-pointers.
CHESS MOVE -- Pitino went with the starting lineup of Smith and Peyton Siva at guard, Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear at forward and Gorgui Dieng in the middle. It's likely the lineup he'll use when the team begins play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas later this week. Pitino also tinkered with some 2-3 zone in the first half after using man-to-man exclusively this season. There wasn't much else he could do. The last nine minutes of the game he was playing deep into the bench.
FIRST-HALF FURY -- The Cardinals have played lock-down defense in the first half of their three games. They took a 39-17 lead to the half on Sunday, and in three games have allowed an average of 15.7 points. (U of L's football team has given up an average of 21.7 points in their past three games.) After giving up no points in the paint in the first half against Samford, U of L gave up just two in the paint in the first half against Miami.
INJURY REPORT -- Angel Nunez remains sidelined with an illness.
MORE WAYNE -- Starting his second straight game, sophomore Wayne Blackshear continues to look more comfortable. He wound up making 4 of 7 three-point tries and finishing with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
DISHING OUT, PULLING DOWN -- Peyton Siva had 10 assists, the second time in three games that he's reached 10. Gorgui Dieng came up just one rebound shy of his third straight double-double with limited second-half minutes.
QUOTE -- "That's the best we've looked." -- U of L coach Rick Pitino.
NEXT UP -- The Cards will face Northern Iowa at 9:30 p.m., on Thanksgiving Day, in the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
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