Thursday, February 6, 2003

Pitino hard to please


Louisville coach not satisfied after 16th straight win

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville coach Rick Pitino keeps criticizing his team's play, but the fifth-ranked Cardinals just keep winning.

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12 game photos
"I am not happy with any of the players right now. I'm upset about a lot of things," he said even after Louisville extended the nation's longest active winning streak with a 77-71 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday night.

"We got a little lax with our defense. That's why Coach was unhappy with us," said freshman Francisco Garcia, who scored 24 points and tied a school record with eight 3-pointers. Reece Gaines had 17 points and seven assists and Marvin Stone grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cardinals (17-1, 7-0 Conference USA), who are off to Louisville's best start since the 1955-56 team won 19 of its first 20 games.

Garcia tied James Brewer's 10-year-old school record with a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:40 left that put Louisville up 65-56.

"Garcia played great," Gaines said. "Without him, we probably would have lost."

The Bearcats were the first Louisville opponent in 11 games at Freedom Hall this season to lose by single digits.

"We needed a game like that because we've won so many in a row and won games by double-digits. Sometimes, you lose focus," Stone said.

Louisville's winning streak is its longest since the 1985-86 squad won its final 17 games on the way to the program's second NCAA championship.




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