Somebody forgot to tell Montrezl Harrell that Louisville and UConn was supposed to be all about the guards. The 6-foot-8 forward had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots to help the 18th ranked Cardinals to 76-64 win on the road against the Huskies on Saturday night. He hit eight of his 10 shots and was a big part of the Cardinals' 45-30 rebounding advantage. "We rebounded a team, that was what it really was about," Harrell said. "On the defensive end, we limited that team to one shot and on the offensive end we were giving ourselves second and third chances." Russ Smith scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half as the Cardinals pulled away to win for the fifth time in six games. They have won eight of the last nine meetings with the Huskies. "It definitely was a Top-25 environment, so this was a great win," said Smith. Shabazz Napier had a career high 30 points to lead Connecticut (14-4, 2-3), which was coming off a win Thursday at No. 17 Memphis. The game included Kevin Ollie's first ejection as UConn's head coach. He picked up two quick technical fouls in the second half after a no-call in front of the UConn bench. Louisville led 34-28 at halftime, but UConn erased that deficit in the first 2 minutes of the second half. A 3-pointer by Napier tied the game at 34. Louisville then used a 20-4 run to pull away, and held on. Smith's driving layup and free throw made it 45-34. Ollie was given a technical a short time later. He lost control after official Mike Stuart failed to call anything when Wayne Blackshear and Niels Giffey collided in front of the UConn bench as Giffey was shooting. Louisville made two of the four free throws to go up 49-38. "I don't know if it was warranted or not warranted," Ollie said. "They gave me the first "T" and I really didn't have a chance to do anything and then the second one came." The Cardinals stretched that lead to 54-38 on a reverse layup by Blackshear before Tyler Olander snapped the run with a layup. Connecticut began chipping away, and cut the deficit to seven when Napier made a 3-pointer with 2:38 left. But Smith had seven points in the last 2 minutes, and Louisville held on. "I just thought we had to have good team defense, good rebounding and I felt if we took care of the ball, we was going to win," Napier said. "We didn't do all of that."
Smith, Harrell lead No. 18 Louisville over UConn
Lexington Herald-Leader | Jan 19