No. 4 Louisville holds off Kentucky, 80-77

Nerlens Noel - photo by Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal
Nerlens Noel – photo by Michael Clevenger/The

Russ Smith scored 21 points and had 20 and No. 4 ended a four-game losing streak against rival with an up-and-down 80-77 victory on Saturday.

Peyton Siva added 19 points as the Cardinals (12-1) won a hard-fought Battle of the Bluegrass. Though the Cardinals trail the series 30-15, their victory followed last spring’s 69-61 national semifinal loss to the Wildcats, who went on to win their eighth national championship.

But had to withstand several charges from to do so. The Wildcats trailed 51-34 but outscored the Cardinals 28-14 to get within 65-62 before Smith’s two baskets keyed an 8-5 run to give some space.

Behanan sealed Louisville’s win with late two dunks, the final one following his steal of a pass by with 18 seconds remaining.

Goodwin scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half for Kentucky (8-4)

Read full article here.