Cardinals hand Cincy first loss of season, 93-66

By LINDA YOUNKIN State Journal Sports Writer Published:

LOUISVILLE - Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins knew his team had some weak spots. Louisville showed everyone just what they were.

Fifth-ranked U of L handed Cincinnati a 93-66 defeat Wednesday night in Freedom Hall, the first loss of the season for the sixth-ranked Bearcats.

"This has been too easy for us," Huggins said of his team's 13-0 start. "We've stolen the ball, gone down court for layups, dunked the ball, and everyone's cheering and clapping.

"But it's not always going to be easy like that," he added, "and I've tried to explain to them that our halfcourt offense isn't as good as it needs to be. I've told you (the media) that, and you thought I was being my usual grumpy self."

On Wednesday the Cardinals proved that Huggins' concerns weren't just coach talk.

The Bearcats, trailing just 56-52 with 12:43 left in the game, found themselves down 71-54 with 7:51 remaining.

"We beat a great basketball team tonight," U of L coach Rick Pitino said. "Our respect for Cincinnati led to the way we played. We had to have good spacing and cut to the basket when you go against their pressure because they press relentlessly.

"It was a great basketball game and a wonderful atmosphere," he added "I'm proud of these young men, and I'm proud of Taquan Dean. He's the toughest son of a gun I've ever coached. He was hurt, but he couldn't be stopped and we couldn't play without him."

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

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