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Timothy D. Easley, Associated Press
Louisville coach Rick Pitino shouts instructions to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Memphis on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Louisville, Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Russ Smith set personal bests with 24 points and seven steals as No. 4 Louisville survived a rough-and-tumble matchup with former conference foe Memphis 95-87 on Saturday to extend the Cardinals' home winning streak to 18 games.

Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 14 rebounds in the schools' first meeting since the Cardinals (10-0) beat the Tigers (5-4) by a point to win the Conference USA tournament in 2005 before departing for the Big East.

Will Barton set career highs with 28 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis, which rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to take the lead before the Cardinals overwhelmed the Tigers down the stretch in a game that featured 54 fouls.

Louisville is off to its best start since the 1996-97 season and on its longest winning streak at home in 22 years. It took almost everything the Cardinals had to extend it.