LOUISVILLE - The good news for Louisville basketball fans Saturday was that Rick Pitino, Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean were back.
The bad news was that it didn't slow down Marquette.
The Golden Eagles snapped U of L's 16-game winning streak Saturday, handing the Cardinals a 77-70 loss at Freedom Hall. The loss was also the first Louisville had suffered at home since Feb. 27, 2003, when Marquette defeated the Cards 78-73.
"You have to give Marquette a lot of credit," said Pitino, back coaching the Cards after a one-game absence for a medical leave. "They came in here, hit some very difficult shots. If you put them on the line they're automatic. Give them credit for a great victory."
The Cardinal killer proved to be sophomore Steve Novak with a game-high 30 points. He went 8-for-13 from three-point range, making three more three-pointers than the entire Louisville squad.
"We lost the same way we lost to Butler last year," Pitino said. "We don't understand how to defend the three-point line. He made several difficult shots, but he had seven makeable shots.
"He needs very little time (to shoot)," Pitino added, "he was very hot, and we played poor defense. There's no rhyme or reason for giving him seven looks."
The Cardinals fell behind early, 14-8, but went on a 10-0 run and took an 18-14 lead.