LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Preston Knowles scored a career-high 21
points, including 12 during a decisive run in the second half, and
No. 9 Louisville pulled away from Austin Peay 94-75 on Saturday.
Terrence Williams had 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds
and Samardo Samuels had 21 points and 12 boards for the Cardinals
(6-1), who used a 17-2 burst midway through the second half to take
Wes Channels led Austin Peay (5-3) with 23 points and Drake Reed
added 18 points and five rebounds but the Governors came undone
during a 5-minute stretch in the second half.
Austin Peay led 59-54 with 13 minutes to play, but Louisville
responded with the kind of offensive avalanche that has made the
Cardinals a trendy Final Four pick.
Knowles knocked down three 3-pointers and added a runner and a
free throw as the Cardinals rallied. He capped the run with a
3-pointer from the wing that gave Louisville an 81-65 lead with 5
minutes remaining. The sophomore guard was 8-of-11 from the field,
including 4-of-5 3-pointers in 21 energetic minutes.
The Cardinals needed just about every one of them after an
uncharacteristically lifeless defensive performance, at least for
the game's first 30 minutes.
Louisville had rolled to five straight easy wins at Freedom Hall
to open the season, winning by an average of 34 points. The
Governors, picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference,
were hardly intimidated.
Louisville had been holding opponents to 34 percent shooting,
but the Governors weren't exactly bothered by the myriad of
defenses the Cardinals threw at them. Austin Peay shot 48 percent
from the field but lost its composure during Louisville's run. The
Governors turned the ball over 18 times and went cold as soon as
the Cardinals got hot.
Knowles led the way, hitting consecutive 3-pointers early in
Louisville's run and using his quick hands to help disrupt Austin
Knowles' shooting allowed the Cardinals to push the tempo and
helped free things up for Samuels. The freshman missed four of his
first five shots during a miserable first half but made up for it
with a handful of dunks in the second half, including a thunderous
jam with a minute left as the Cardinals exhaled.
For long stretches, however, the Cardinals and Freedom Hall held
their breath as the Governors gave Louisville all it could handle.
Reed, who often had two or three bodies flying at him whenever
he touched the ball, kept finding ways to get his unorthodox shot
The two-time All-OVC player seemed to befuddle the Cardinals
with his funky delivery. Raising his right arm straight above his
head, Reed's shot was almost impossible to block despite the best
efforts of whichever Cardinal appeared to be in the vicinity.
Reed even knocked down his second 3-pointer of the season and
the 10th of his career during the first half as the Governors
managed to keep the lethargic Cardinals close, trailing 41-39 at