LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Larry O'Bannon wasn't concerned about a
O'Bannon had 25 points Tuesday night to lead Louisville (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) to an
85-51 victory over North Carolina A&T. That was one point shy of the senior swingman's best effort, last season at Memphis.
"Some of the fellows pointed it out," said O'Bannon, who was
10-of-14 from the field and had 11 rebounds in leading the
Cardinals to their fifth straight win. "I really wasn't worried
Francisco Garcia added 12 points and Ellis Myles had 11 points
and 10 rebounds for Louisville, which shot 43.2 percent from the
field (29-of-67) but was only 18-of-33 from the free-throw line.
The Cardinals turned the ball over 22 times but forced North
Carolina A&T into 24 turnovers and outrebounded the Aggies 58-40.
But the Cardinals gave up 19 offensive rebounds, and that didn't
please Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whose team hosts Kentucky (No. 11, No. 9) on Saturday.
"We called a timeout to specifically talk about blocking out,
and the very next time down the floor, we didn't do it," Pitino
said. "We're still not blocking out like we are supposed to. We
got a 'W' tonight, but we didn't play our 'A' game."
North Carolina A&T shot 28.1 percent for the game (20-of-71),
including going 3-of-18 from 3-point range.
The Cardinals (6-1) broke from a 12-point halftime lead with a
12-5 run that put them up 52-33 with 14½ minutes to play.
"We just had more manpower," O'Bannon said. "They played
hard, they played their hearts out, we just had more talent than
Sean Booker's 3-point jumper with 9:16 to play got the Aggies
(1-8) within 62-45, but a 9-2 run by Louisville pushed the lead to
70-47 with 7:45 to play. Lorenzo Wade had two 3-pointers and
O'Bannon added a layup in the spurt.
Booker, a Louisville native, led the Aggies with 19 points while
Steven Koger had 13.
"Louisville is a great team, they are very smart with the
ball," said Aggies coach Jerry Eaves, a former Louisville
assistant who played on the 1980 NCAA championship team. "Right
now, they are a little broken down. They don't have the depth that
"It was a great experience to have the opportunity for us to
come in and play a team like Louisville with their pressure
defense. They did turn us over a lot. We have four seniors, but we
are so young. I thought we did a nice job."
North Carolina A&T led 4-2 but the Cardinals outscored the
Aggies 17-2 to go up 19-6 with 12:44 left in the first half.
Louisville was 6-of-8 from the field during the run while the
Aggies were 1-of-7.
O'Bannon had five points and Palacios had four during the run.
The Aggies outscored the Cardinals 11-2 to get within 23-19. But
Louisville went on its own 11-2 run to take a 37-23 lead. Brad
Gianiny had five points and Myles converted a three-point play
during the stretch.