LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Russ Smith scored 18 points and No. 8 Louisville gave Rick Pitino his 300th victory with the Cardinals by beating Cincinnati 67-51 on Monday night.
Pitino, who earned his 650th career win earlier this season against South Florida, picked up this milestone against Cincinnati counterpart Mick Cronin, a former Cardinals assistant in 2002 and 20'03.
The Cardinals (25-5, 13-4 Big East) picked up their sixth straight win and drew within one-half game of first-place Georgetown, which plays at Villanova on Wednesday. Louisville followed up last season's victory over the Bearcats in the conference championship game that sparked a Final Four run.
Louisville's trademark defense ignited this victory, as the Cardinals forced Cincinnati (20-10, 8-9) into a season-high 21 turnovers. Seven came during the first 10 minutes of the second half, including Kevin Ware's steal and dunk for a 53-42 lead, part of a 23-4 run that put the game away.