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Updated: Thursday, December 30, 2004 11:40 PM EST
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(19) Louisville 78, Eastern Ky 63

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Travis Ford became the latest former player to be treated rudely by Rick Pitino.

Pitino continued his domination of former players as No. 19 Louisville rolled to a 78-63 victory over Eastern Kentucky.

Pitino improved his record to 21-2 against former players or assistants who became coaches. Ford played under Pitino at Kentucky in the early 1990s.

The latest victory for Pitino never was in doubt as Francisco Garcia scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half, helping the Cardinals (10-2) open a commanding 48-25 lead.

Garcia went over 1,000 career points in the opening 20 minutes and drilled a pair of 3-pointers in a 16-4 burst to close the half.

In the first half, the Cardinals shot 52 percent (13-of-25) and forced 14 of their 24 turnovers.

"We did a lot of good things in the first half, but our Achilles heel continues to be a lack of blocking out," Pitino said. "It's very difficult to comprehend because we're small, we have no reach and we're not blocking out."

Juan Diego Palacios added 15 points and Ellis Myles 10 and 10 rebounds for Louisville, which has won its last four games by an average of 31.8 points.

The Cardinals made 28-of-36 free throws but continued to have problems on the boards as they were outrebounded, 35-24.

Michael Haney scored 22 points for the Colonels (8-3), who did manage to pull within 56-47 midway through the second half. He also went over 1,000 points in his career.

"Our guys competed tonight and played hard," Ford said. "Unfortunately, we ran into a very, very good basketball team that plays just as hard every single night."

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