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Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 11:38 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(14) Louisville 71, Depaul 43
DEPAUL BLUE DEMONS
DePaul Blue Demons
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LOUISVILLE CARDINALS
Louisville Cardinals
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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Reece Gaines scored 14 points as 14th-ranked Louisville used another deadly combination of 3-point shooting and defense to defeat DePaul, 71-43, in Conference USA action.

Erik Brown and freshman Francisco Garcia added 10 points apiece for Louisville (13-1, 5-0 C-USA American), which won its 13th straight, remained perfect in nine home games and improved to 5-0 for the first time in its seven Conference USA seasons.

The Cardinals did it with a 3-point attack and some harassing defense, the obvious qualities of a team coached by Rick Pitino. They went 12-of-29 from 3-point range and held DePaul to 34 percent shooting (17-of-50).

"They have a very unique team in that they put a lot of points on the board, they shoot good from 3-point range, free-throw line and are very good defensively," said DePaul coach Dave Leitao, whose team dropped its 13th straight in the series.

Gaines, Brown and Garcia combined to go 8-of-19 from 3-point range while Bryant Northern went 3-of-4 for all nine of his points. The Blue Demons were just 1-of-9 as a team.

"We have done a great job of not only making the three, but stopping it," Pitino said. "That will bode well for you."

The Cardinals held their 10th straight opponent under 40 percent shooting. They also forced 17 turnovers, held a 19-4 advantage in points off turnovers and totaled eight blocks.

"Our defensive tenacity can wear you out because of the numbers," Pitino said. "We are playing 10-11 players vs. their seven. Because we are one year ahead of them in the rebuilding process, we just had the numbers."

Andre Brown scored 16 points for DePaul (10-5, 2-2), which got only 15 points from four reserves while Louisville's seven-man bench totaled 25 points.

"We played one of the best teams out there," Leitao said. "I told Pitino before the game, you have to enjoy watching his team play. There are no egos on that team."

The Blue Demons grabbed their final lead at 15-13 on a dunk by Brown midway through the first half. But Marvin Stone followed with a layup and Gaines hit a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals the lead for good, 18-15, with 7:31 left in the half.

Louisville extended the run to 15-5, building a 28-20 lead on a 3-pointer by Northern 3:42 before halftime.

The Cardinals used a 13-2 run early in the second half to put away the game. Brown, freshman Taquan Dean and Northern all hit 3-pointers during the burst, which made it 44-27 with 13:19 remaining.

Louisville led by at least 12 the rest of the way.

"They got us down in the first half and we didn't respond to the challenges in the second half, and you can't expect to win when you do that," Leitao said.


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