Depleted Cards ease past ECU

By LINDA YOUNKIN State Journal Sports Writer Published:

LOUISVILLE - Questions surrounded Saturday's East Carolina-Louisville basketball game: Would Marvin Stone play? Could the Cardinals end a three-game losing streak without their leading rebounder, Ellis Myles?

The Stone question was answered early as the senior center didn't dress for Saturday's game and it took all 40 minutes of the game to decide the second question, but the answer was yes as U of L defeated the Pirates 82-76 at Freedom Hall.

Stone was held out of the game by the university as the NCAA continues its investigation into Stone's role on an AAU basketball team in Huntsville, Ala., coached by Mark Komara, that Stone played for five years ago.

That, coupled with Myles' season-ending injury in the Marquette game Thursday, left Louisville without two of its inside starters.

"We have a lot of work to do," U of L coach Rick Pitino said after the game. "We almost have to start over on certain things. We have to become a decent zone team, and we have to become a different type man defensive team. We almost have to reinvent ourselves."

Myles suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee late in Thursday's game and underwent surgery Friday. He attended Saturday's game in a wheelchair and sat at the press table next to Louisville's bench.

In his absence, sophomore Otis George came off the bench to grab nine rebounds, and freshman starting guard Taquan Dean had eight boards.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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