No. 13 Louisville routs Rutgers as Luke Hancock scores career-high 25


by Associated Press

Posted on February 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 12:56 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Luke Hancock scored a career-high 25 points, including six 3-pointers, and No. 13 Louisville throttled Rutgers in a 102-54 blowout Sunday night.

The Cardinals (21-4, 10-2 American Athletic Conference) made a season-high 16 shots from beyond the arc on 30 attempts for their fourth straight win, completing a season sweep of the Scarlet Knights (10-16, 4-9). Louisville shot 56 percent overall in posting its biggest win this season.

Freshman guard Terry Rozier added a career-high 16 points, hitting four 3s, and Wayne Blackshear scored 10 with a couple of 3-pointers. Russ Smith, Chris Jones, Tim Henderson and freshman reserve David Levitch also made long-range shots in a game that quickly became lopsided.

The Cardinals' last scheduled conference game against Rutgers ended with them dominating on the boards (39-24) while forcing 18 turnovers that led to 23 points. The Scarlet Knights shot just 35 percent in falling to 1-13 against Louisville, which had 23 assists to nine for Rutgers.

Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack each scored 10 points for Rutgers, which is headed to the Big Ten next season while Louisville goes to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The game matched two teams on different trajectories, with the Cardinals looking to maintain momentum as they prepare for Saturday's rematch at first-place Cincinnati, while the Scarlet Knights were trying to break out of the bottom half of the standings.

Despite entering with a split of its past four games, including a 23-point rout of Houston, Rutgers faced a huge hurdle against the third of four ranked opponents in a five-game stretch. Louisville came in leading the nation in scoring margin (20.1) and had won its last three by an average of nearly 19 points.

But unlike last month's meeting in New Jersey that Louisville won 83-76 by making 41 of 46 free throws, the Cardinals did their damage from beyond the arc this time, with Hancock and Rozier thriving in particular.

Smith and Hancock started it off by hitting from long range. Jones followed with a perimeter jumper that was initially ruled a 3 before a replay review showed his foot was on the line. But that hardly bothered the Cardinals, who just kept firing from outside en route to a 43-24 halftime lead.

Rozier needed only a half to match his career high of 14 points set last month against Rutgers as he went 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 5 of 9 overall from the field. Louisville shot 52 percent in the first half, including 7 of 14 on 3-pointers.

A game that was already a rout at the break quickly became a laugher as Louisville made its first five 3-pointers in the second half, with Hancock hitting back-to-back shots to make it 64-27. With no answers for Louisville's onslaught, Rutgers could only watch as the Cardinals' lead reached 48 points with 31 seconds left.