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Rich Schultz, Associated Press
Seton Hall's Jordan Theodore (1) takes a shot as Louisville's Jared Swopshire (21) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.

NEWARK, N.J. — Russ Smith scored 14 points and Louisville, which led by 17 points in the second half, held off Seton Hall 60-51 on Saturday night for its third straight win.

The Cardinals (17-5, 5-4 Big East) took a 38-21 lead with the opening basket of the second half. They saw the Pirates (15-6, 4-5) get as close as 55-51 in the final minute before the Cardinals made five of six free throw attempts over the final 51 seconds.

Jordan Theodore had 18 points for Seton Hall, which dropped its fourth straight overall and second in a row at home.

Gorgui Dieng and Chris Smith both had 11 points for Louisville.

Herb Pope added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates.