Thursday, January 30, 2003

No. 8 Louisville 94, Southern Miss. 65

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Louisville is beginning to look like one of the strongest teams in the country. Erik Brown hit all eight of his shots from the field and scored a career-high 22 points as the eighth-ranked Cardinals extended their winning streak to 14 games Wednesday night with a 94-65 victory over Southern Mississippi.

"Louisville is not where it is because of fluke reasons. They are there because they have a lot of talent. They have size and they have shooters," Golden Eagles coach James Green said.

The Cardinals (15-1, 6-0 Conference USA) showed off all their assets, outscoring Southern Mississippi (9-8, 2-4) by 24 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half after leading 43-35 at the break.

Brown finished 5-for-5 from behind the 3-point line, and Louisville shot 52 percent from the floor.

"All of our guys can shoot the ball well," said Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, whose team has won three straight in Hattiesburg. "That run at the end of the first half helped us in the second. After we hit a few shots, it was just like a shark feeding."

Louisville has the second-longest current winning streak in the nation. Oklahoma State pushed its run to 15 games Wednesday.

The Cardinals led by eight in the first half before the Golden Eagles trimmed it to 38-35 on two free throws by Jason Forte with 51 seconds left.

Brown hit a 3-pointer and Marvin Stone got a basket in the final minute to push the lead back up.

The Cardinals extended the margin to 78-48 with 7:16 left on Stone's short jumper. Stone finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

"We didn't come out in the second half and play the first five minutes the way that we needed to," Green said.

Reece Gaines had 16 points and 11 assists for Louisville.

Southern Miss has lost four straight. The Golden Eagles shot just 39.3 percent in the second half.

Charles Gaines led Southern Mississippi with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Greg Johnson added 13.

LOUISVILLE (15-1)-Myles 4-6 1-3 9, Brown 8-8 1-1 22, Stone 8-13 0-3 16, Dean 3-7 0-1 8, R.Gaines 7-16 0-1 16, Tinch 0-0 0-0 0, Dartez 0-0 0-0 0, Northern 1-2 0-0 2, Mohammed 0-0 0-0 0, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0, Whitehead 4-13 0-2 8, Garcia 3-5 2-2 10, O'Bannon 1-4 0-0 3, George 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-74 4-13 94.

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (9-8)-G.Johnson 4-14 5-9 13, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, C.Gaines 5-9 5-11 15, Stiggers 1-2 0-0 2, Myles 0-1 2-3 2, Haywood 4-11 0-0 11, J.Johnson 6-14 0-0 12, Pattman 0-0 0-0 0, Forte 3-6 3-8 10. Totals 23-57 15-31 65.

Halftime-Louisville 43-35. 3-Point goals-Louisville 12-27 (Brown 5-5, Garcia 2-3, Dean 2-6, R.Gaines 2-6, O'Bannon 1-4, Stone 0-1, Northern 0-1, Whitehead 0-1), Southern Miss. 4-18 (Haywood 3-6, Forte 1-3, G.Johnson 0-4, J.Johnson 0-5). Rebounds-Louisville 45 (Stone 11), Southern Miss. 41 (C.Gaines 13). Assists-Louisville 21 (R.Gaines 11), Southern Miss. 16 (Pattman 6).

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