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Updated: Saturday, January 8, 2005 7:14 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(16) Louisville 86, Tcu 61

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Louisville rebounded from a surprising loss by setting the tone early.

Larry O'Bannon and Francisco Garcia combined for the first eight points of the game and No. 16 Louisville never looked back, posting an 86-61 rout over Texas Christian in a Conference USA matchup.

After dropping a three-point decision to Houston on Wednesday to have their five-game winning streak snapped, the Cardinals (12-3, 1-1 C-USA) came out with a vengeance in this one, building an 8-0 lead in the first 3:07 of the game.

O'Bannon and Garcia each scored four points in the run and Louisville opened a 17-2 lead before TCU got untracked. The Horned Frogs were just 1-of-10 from the floor and committed 11 turnovers in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the contest.

"We played great defense tonight," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We were able to stay with it defensively and do some good things on offense. It was a good win for us."

"Where we had our problem was that they were way better defensively than we were offensively," TCU coach Neil Dougherty said. "They just took us out of a lot of things. It didn't help that at times during the game, especially in the first half, we just lost our focus."

TCU (10-5, 0-1) trailed, 40-26, at the break but climbed within 51-40 with 14:26 remaining in the second half. But O'Bannon hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-0 run that put Louisville ahead, 61-40, with just under 11 minutes to go.

Freshman Juan Palacios scored 23 points - including 15 in the first half - and Garcia had 21, a career-high six blocks and five assists for the Cardinals, who improved to 12-0 when surpassing the 71-point mark. Louisville has totaled fewer than 72 points in three games this season, losing all three.

Sophomore guard Brandon Jenkins grabbed a career-high eight rebounds for the Cardinals along with three steals and two assists.

"I told Brandon Jenkins in the locker room, 'You were the key to the game. Your pressure on the ball made our defense go,'" Pitino said. "He's had two great games back to back. His pressure was relentless. Brandon rebounded the basketball when it was long. He did a great job for us tonight. He was the MVP, without question."

Nile Murry had 15 points and eight rebounds and Corey Santee added 13, four and four assists for TCU, which fell to 1-4 on the road.


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