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No. 2 Louisville beats No. 13 Missouri 84-61

  • Article by: JIM O'CONNELL
  • Associated Press
  • November 23, 2012 - 11:07 PM

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - Luke Hancock scored 19 points and Russ Smith had 18 points and six steals and No. 2 Louisville looked more like itself with an 84-61 victory over No. 13 Missouri on Friday night in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

The Cardinals had a rougher-than-expected opening-round game, a 51-46 victory over Northern Iowa, and coach Rick Pitino looked and sounded upset after the game.

Louisville was back to being one of the better defensive teams in the nation against the Tigers, forcing 23 turnovers that the Cardinals turned into 31 points. Missouri's Phil Pressey, considered one of the better point guards in the country, had eight turnovers.

Missouri's shooting percentage (46.0) looked better than it was considering the Tigers were able to get off 50 shots, 13 less than Louisville which shot 49.2 percent.

The Cardinals (5-0) will face No. 5 Duke in Saturday night's championship game. The Blue Devils beat VCU 67-58.

Chane Behanan and Peyton both had 13 points for Louisville, which forced 86 turnovers coming in and had double-figure steals in each game. The Cardinals had 12 steals Friday with Smith getting half of them

Alex Oriahki and Pressey both had 15 points for Missouri (4-1), which beat Stanford 78-70 in the first round. Pressey had seven assists.

The Tigers scored the first four points of the second half to get within 39-35. The Cardinals went on an 11-0 run that featured 3-pointers by Smith and Hancock and Missouri was never within 10 points the rest of the way. Of the Tigers' three possessions during the big run, two ended in turnovers, the other with two missed free throws.

Oriahki had eight rebounds for Missouri, which finished with a 37-32 advantage on the boards.

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