It took an extra five minutes, but Rick Pitino's Lousiville Cardinals got back on the winning track in the Big East with a 90-82 overtime win over DePaul.
The Louisville Cardinals rebounded from their heartbreaking one-point loss to Syracuse this week with a 90-82 win over DePaul on Saturday. The Cardinals were not ready to play and came out flat in Chicago, as Oliver Purnell's team kept it close for the full 40 minutes. DePaul, just 2-11 in the conference, has played every conference opponent close this season, with the exception of UConn. The Cardinials trailed by ten points at the break but stepped up their defensive effort and on-ball pressure to get back in it.
After falling behind, the Blue Demons staged a final minute comeback to force overtime. Down four with 40 seconds to play, Donnavan Kirk drilled a three-pointer to cut it to one. Louisville's Chris Smith then split a pair of free-throws and Charles McKinney took it down the left wing and got to the rim, evening it up at 77 with a layup in traffic. But in overtime, the Cardinals would keep up the defensive pressure, holding DePaul to just five points and closing out an eight-point win.
Kyle Kuric led Rick Pitino's club with 25 points. Kuric carried Louisville on the offensive end, hitting five three-pointers, including two huge treys on consecutive possessions that swung the Cards from down three to up three with five minutes to play. Russ Smith was also big off the bench, chipping in 18 points and hitting three of six from behind the arc. Smith was big in overtime, scoring four of Louisville's first six points to build a lead. Louisville, which was plagued by poor free-throw shooting against Syracuse, was just 13 of 20 from the charity stripe, which kept DePaul close in the second half.
The Cardinals are now 9-5 in the Big East and will travel to Cincinnati on Thursday night.