LAIE, Hawaii (AP) -- Louisville coach Rick Pitino wanted a tuneup
before the Maui Invitational. Division II Brigham Young-Hawaii
provided much more.
Taquan Dean and Larry O'Bannon each scored 18 points and Louisville (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) rallied in the second half to beat BYUH 89-79 Saturday
in its season opener.
"I wanted this game to prepare us for the Maui Classic,"
Pitino said. "They were a scary opponent to play with your first
game. We knew we had to play our hearts out to get a victory."
The game also marked the return of Pitino to Hawaii. He began
his coaching career at Hawaii as a graduate assistant in 1974-75
and was an assistant coach in 1975-76.
The Cardinals rallied from a 45-38 second-half deficit behind
tough defense and the scoring of Dean, who had 11 of his 18 points
in the final 20 minutes. Louisville forced 24 turnovers and scored
15 points off 12 turnovers in the second half.
"I think our full-court press was able to wear them out,"
Pitino said. "(BYUH) played a lot of consecutive games. To go
against that type of pressure, playing all those games, I think
they had tired legs down the stretch."
Louisville trailed at halftime and faced a 59-54 deficit in the
second half before using a 10-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer by
Brandon Jenkins, to take a 64-63 lead. The Cardinals extended their
lead to 78-71 with just over four minutes left.
BYUH (2-1) closed within 80-77 with 2:36 remaining but couldn't
get closer. Dean made a 3-pointer and the Cardinals closed the game
with a 9-2 run.
"Taquan was very important today," Pitino said. "If I can get
him more time at the (shooting guard) spot I think you'll see that