Louisville turns over No. 9 Marquette in 84-71 win

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

The Cardinals, who won the 2009 tournament title and lost to Connecticut in last year's championship game, scored 50 points in the first half — their biggest outburst in a half this season. They finished with 26 offensive rebounds and 23 points off turnovers.

"I'm not sure that they've had a better meal all year long than what we served them tonight," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "I did a really bad job.

"It never seemed to be in sync. 'Seemed like we just kept passing the mic at a karaoke bar and I'm not sure of the words — you try. We were kicking the ball everywhere. They were taking it from us, just no good, never in rhythm, never in sync."

Swopshire had eight points and 12 rebounds in 20 minutes for Louisville, which held Marquette to 2-for-13 shooting from 3-point range in a game that had a much faster pace than most in this week's event at Madison Square Garden.

Jamil Wilson had 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Marquette.

Just like their previous matchup, Louisville jumped on the Golden Eagles from the opening tip. The Cardinals forced nine turnovers in the first 10:14 and opened a 21-6 lead on Behanan's jumper with 14 minutes to go in the first half.

But then Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng was hit with a technical for protesting a foul call. He went to the bench with three fouls at the 8:15 mark and Pitino shouted up at the 6-foot-10 center, who put his hand on the coach's shoulder.

"I don't know if Gorgui knows that a technical foul is a personal foul, as well," Pitino said. "In Senegal I don't think they have that rule."

Marquette trailed 30-19 when Dieng took a seat but trimmed it to 34-33 on Wilson's putback with 3:57 left in the half. Kuric's 3-pointer started a 16-7 run that sent the Cardinals into halftime with a 50-40 advantage.

Dieng checked back in with 14:01 remaining and finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks — increasing his school record to 107 blocked shots this season. Kuric also had three blocks as Louisville racked up 50 rebounds and nine blocked shots, their best totals in a Big East tournament game.

Pitino credited Swopshire with filling in nicely for Dieng.

"The thing we've got to find out is, can we play without Gorgui? And this young man stepped up, actually drew a charge tonight, which was like the miracle on 34th street," Pitino said. "So it's unbelievable for him to do that. He stepped up big, 12 rebounds. Now Chane knows when Gorgui is out that we can win without Gorgui in the game, and that was great for us to find that out tonight."

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