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Louisville Rolls Over Samford, 80-54

The second-ranked Cardinals dominated the paint against an overmatched Samford squad and rolled to a 26-point victory.

Andy Lyons

No. 2 Louisville led overmatched Samford 42-13 at halftime and coasted to an 80-54 victory Thursday night at the KFC Yum Center.

Though he came off the bench, Russ Smith again led the Cards in scoring with a game-high 18 points. Chane Behanan chipped in 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, 13 of which came in the first half.

Gorgui Dieng also produced a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Wayne Blackshear, who made his first sart of the season, added 13 points.

The most troublesome aspect of the game was again outside shooting. Take away Russ Smith's 4-for-7 performance and the Cards were a dismal 3-for-24 from beyond the arc. That's not good. The worst offender was Luke Hancock, who missed all but one of his 10 three-point attempts and 12 field goal attempts.

Louisville also lost a little bit of its impressive early intensity after halftime, and wound up losing the game's second 20 minutes, 41-38.

Rick Pitino wasn't especially upbeat after the game, saying he was disappointed in his team's second half performance. He also announced that Russ Smith, Peyton Siva and Wayne Blackshear will likely be starters during next week's Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

More in a bit.