No. 16 Louisville Vs. Rutgers: Cardinals Have Big East Momentum To Maintain

GAME NOTES: Following an impressive Saturday victory over 13th-ranked Connecticut, the 16th-ranked Louisville Cardinals will look to avoid a let down as they visit the Louis Brown Athletic Center for a Big East Conference showdown with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Cardinals completed a season-sweep of the Huskies with a 71-58 win on Saturday. They have now won two of their last three contests to stand at 9-5 in the competitive Big East.

Rutgers has now dropped two straight and four of its last six contests to fall to 4-10 in Big East action. The Scarlet Knights last played on Saturday as well, in an 84-80 overtime loss to Syracuse.

With respect to the all-time series, tonight's matchup marks the 10th meeting between Louisville and Rutgers. The Cardinals currently hold a 8-1 lead, and have won four straight over the Scarlet Knights.

Louisville won the old-fashioned way on Saturday, clamping down on the defensive end and bullying Connecticut in the trenches. The Cardinals held UConn to just 37 percent shooting (17-of-46) and gave Kemba Walker, on of the nation's best players, fits from the opening tip. Walker, who averages 22.9 ppg, went just 3-of-10 from the floor for 16 points. The Cardinals' frontcourt also did work, leading the team to 34 points in the paint and a 40-36 advantage on the glass. Peyton Silva led the offensive charge, netting 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while Gorgui Dieng came off the bench to post his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 boards. The Cardinals are typically led by Preston Knowles, who averages 14.5 ppg. Silva chips in 10.6 ppg and Kyle Kuric is scoring 11.3 ppg in conference play, as Louisville averages a healthy 76.2 ppg, while allowing 65.4 ppg on the other end.

In a game that featured 14 lead changes and 10 ties, the embattled Scarlet Knights eventually fell to a superior Syracuse squad on Saturday. Rutgers held the ball for the final possession of regulation, but was unable to earn the upset win, as a three-pointer by James Beatty sailed off the mark, sending the game into overtime. In the extra frame, the Orange expounded on a theme of the game, scoring nine of its 14 points from the charity stripe to seal the final result. For the contest, Syracuse outscored the Scarlet Knights 34-9 from the foul line. Guard Mike Cobourn led the squad in defeat, netting 18 points on 7- of-12 shooting, while handing out six assists. Forwards Jonathan Mitchell and Gilvydas Biruta added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Mitchell has been asked to do too much this season. He is the only Rutgers player to average in double figures, as he pours in 14.8 ppg (16.6 ppg in conference), while also leading the team at 6 rpg. Behind Mitchell, Rutgers scores 67.3 ppg, while allowing 65.7 ppg. The dilemma come against staunch Big East competition, where the Scarlet Knights allow 70.6 ppg.

Louisville is a versatile team. After downing Connecticut with defense, the Cardinals should use a strong offensive effort to defeat Rutgers tonight.

GAME NOTES: Following an impressive Saturday victory over 13th-ranked Connecticut, the 16th-ranked Louisville Cardinals will look to avoid a let down as they visit the Louis Brown Athletic Center for a Big East Conference showdown with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

FACTS & STATS: Site: Louis Brown Athletic Center (8,000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Louisville 17-2, Rutgers 10-4. Away Record: Louisville 3-5, Rutgers 2-7. Neutral Record: Louisville 0-0, Rutgers 1-2. Conference Record: Louisville 9-5, Rutgers 4-10. Series Record: Louisville leads, 8-1.

Louisville 76, Rutgers 63

For more on this game, Louisville fans should visit Card Chronicles, and Rutgers fans should head to On The Banks.

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