Louisville doesn’t help Hall’s NCAA chances
Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 7:00 pm
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Peyton Siva had 14 points and six steals, and Louisville held off Seton Hall 61-55 on Wednesday night to reach the Big East tournament quarterfinals, leaving the Pirates to sweat out Selection Sunday as they hope for an NCAA tournament bid.
Kyle Kuric added 13 points and Gorgui Dieng stuffed Seton Hall inside with six blocks and 10 rebounds to help the seventh-seeded Cardinals advance to play ninth-ranked and second-seeded Marquette tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Russ Smith scored five of his 11 down the stretch as Louisville (23-9) thwarted Seton Hall’s late charge to stop a two-game skid.
Jordan Theodore scored 17 and Herb Pope had 11 points and 15 rebounds to lead the 10th-seeded Pirates (20-12), sitting tenuously on the NCAA bubble. Seton Hall shot just 33 percent — including 3-of-19 from 3-point range — and lost for the 10th time in its final 15 games.
The victory gave Cardinals coach Rick Pitino his second win this season over protege Kevin Willard, who spent six seasons on the Louisville staff as an assistant.
Siva made two steals and a tough bank shot in the first 65 seconds after halftime and keyed a 20-6 run to start the second half that put Louisville in control.
Kuric’s 3-pointer made it 48-33 with 9:54 left, but the Pirates — perhaps playing for their NCAA tournament lives — wouldn’t go down easily.
They fought back and trimmed it to 59-55 on Theodore’s 3 with 47.9 seconds to go.
Published in The Messenger 3.8.12