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Updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:15 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(25) Louisville 80, Seton Hall 71

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Taquan Dean helped Francisco Garcia get through an emotional game.

Dean nailed a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 70 seconds to go as No. 25 Louisville scored the final nine points for an 80-71 victory over Seton Hall.

Garcia, a sophomore forward and the Cardinals' leading scorer, learned earlier in the day that his 18-year-old brother, Hector, died Monday after being shot.

A moment of silence was held before tip-off and the school announced that Garcia, who insisted on playing, would return to home to the Bronx, New York after the game.

"I don't think there are too many young men that could play tonight," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "He's very close to his brother and his family. Not too many have that emotional strength."

Garcia scored 16 of his 24 points to help Louisville (3-1) stave off a strong effort by Seton Hall. He made four 3-pointers and 10-of-12 from the line.

Seton Hall's Marcus Toney-El sank a pair from the line with 1:23 left to tie the game at 71-71 before the Cardinals' closing run. Louisville pushed the ball upcourt, leading to Dean's big shot.

"It's the movement that sets that up," said Pitino, who improved to 6-0 against Seton Hall. "When we hunted shots and forced shots, we shot poorly."

The Pirates went for the tie, but Andre Sweet missed a 3-pointer with 51 seconds to go. Garcia added four foul shots in the final 35 seconds to seal it.

"It's one of those games we knew it would have runs," said Seton Hall coach Louis Orr, who was recruited to Syracuse in 1976 by Pitino, who was an assistant. "We started out slow offensively."

Otis George's layup gave Louisville a 19-5 lead midway through the first half. Seton Hall finished strong and pulled within 33-31 at the break.

Luke Whitehead, who collected 14 points and 11 rebounds, gave Louisville a 60-51 lead with two foul shots with 8:48 remaining before Andre Barrett led Seton Hall back. Barrett's 3-pointer triggered a 10-0 burst that gave the Pirates their only lead.

"Barrett is a heckuva player," Pitino said. "We tried to wear him out. He's one of the best point guards in the country."

The Cardinals enjoyed a significant advantage at the line, making 25-of-33 in comparison to a 17-of-21 showing by the Pirates. Barrett hit five 3-pointers and had 21 points and seven assists to keep Seton Hall afloat.

Barrett's backcourt mate, John Allen, had an entirely different experience, fouling out after missing all 12 shots. Seton Hall shot 37 percent (22-of-60).

Louisville improved to 6-3 against Seton Hall. Last season, the Cardinals cruised to a 91-70 rout.


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