University of Louisville

Louisville romps, stays unbeaten

Louisville's Rakeem Buckles controlled a loose ball even as Florida International guard Phil Gary tried to apply pressure from the floor during the first half at the KFC Yum Center.
Louisville's Rakeem Buckles controlled a loose ball even as Florida International guard Phil Gary tried to apply pressure from the floor during the first half at the KFC Yum Center. AP

LOUISVILLE — Preston Knowles scored a season-high 18 points, Gorgui Dieng added 15 and Louisville remained unbeaten with a 92-55 romp over Florida International on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals (5-0) stayed perfect at their new downtown arena by swamping the Panthers (4-3) from the opening tip. Louisville scored the game's first 13 points and led by 33 at the half.

Eric Frederick led FIU with 12 points. The Panthers missed their first seven shots, trailed by 20 less than nine minutes in and never threatened.

Knowles, out of Clark County, has been chastised recently by Coach Rick Pitino for his poor conditioning and inability to get his teammates involved. Showing a renewed vigor, the senior captain added six boards and three assists in his best game of the season.

Knowles knocked down a pair of three-pointers to start the game and the Cardinals soon took off. Louisville's defense harassed the Panthers into mistake after mistake and the Cardinals wasted little time taking advantage.

By the time FIU's Jeremy Allen hit a running bank shot with 13:03 to go in the first half, the Panthers already trailed 19-4.

Things never really got much better for FIU or Coach Isiah Thomas, who spent most of the game watching from the bench in silence.

The Panthers shot 28 percent from the floor, turned it over 22 times and made just two of 13 three-pointers.

Louisville had no such issues. Knowles came into the game shooting 29 percent from three-point range, a number Pitino attributed to Knowles' habit of bypassing easy shots for ones with a hand in his face.

His selection wasn't that much better against the Panthers, but the results were. He shot 4-for-8 from behind the arc, including one just before the halftime buzzer that gave Louisville a 48-15 lead..

FIU (4-3) — Moore 0-1 2-2 2, Gary 0-3 2-6 2, Wright 4-8 2-4 11, Roberts 1-7 2-2 4, Allen 2-4 3-5 7, Weaver 1-5 0-0 2, Russell 2-2 2-2 7, Kee 0-2 0-0 0, Frederick 5-16 2-4 12, Pack 0-5 8-8 8, Bell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-53 23-33 55.

LOUISVILLE (5-0) — Marra 4-10 0-0 10, Van Treese 1-1 0-2 2, Jennings 1-4 4-6 6, Knowles 6-13 2-2 18, Siva 2-5 0-0 4, Goode 1-1 0-0 2, Buckles 2-6 4-5 9, C. Smith 4-7 2-2 10, Dieng 6-7 3-5 15, Kuric 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 0-1 0-0 0, Justice 4-5 1-4 12, R. Smith 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 32-64 18-28 92.

Halftime—U of L 48-15. Three-point goals—FIU 2-13 (Russell 1-1, Wright 1-2, Allen 0-1, Roberts 0-2, Frederick 0-2, Pack 0-2, Weaver 0-3), U of L 10-26 (Knowles 4-8, Justice 3-4, Marra 2-8, Buckles 1-2, Henderson 0-1, C. Smith 0-1, Siva 0-2). Fouled out—Dieng. Rebounds—FIU 36 (Frederick 12), U of L 44 (Buckles 8). Assists—FIU 6 (Gary 3), U of L 20 (Buckles, Knowles, Siva, C. Smith 3). Total fouls—FIU 20, U of L 23. A—20,866.

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