- Dana O'Neil, ESPN Senior Writer
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NEW YORK -- Playing without Jerry Smith hasn't changed the impact of Louisville's backcourt. The senior Smith is on the bench in street clothes, nursing a hand injury that will make him day-to-day for the duration of the Cardinals' stay in New York.
No big deal. Edgar Sosa and Reginald Delk have made up for his offense. The often unpredictable Sosa has been rock solid in the first half, with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Delk, meantime, has been equally reliable. He's a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line and goes to the locker room with 13. The duo is spearheading a torrid 51-percent shooting effort for Louisville.
The only thing standing between Louisville and a blowout right now is the backboard. The Cardinals are getting smoked on the boards by Cincy. The Bearcats have 11 offensive rebounds, giving the Bearcats, who are shooting 26 percent, just just enough putbacks to hang in the game.
Lance Stephenson, the newly minted Big East rookie of the year, continues his struggles playing in his hometown. He's only 1-of-5 for four points in the half.