LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Despite suffering from mononucleosis, Taquan Dean found the energy to lift Louisville back into first place in Conference USA.
Dean scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half as No. 12 Louisville pulled away for an 84-66 victory over Conference USA foe Saint Louis.
The nation's 10th-best 3-point shooter, Dean scored all of his points from the arc, making 5-of-8 3-pointers, including 4-of-5 in the final 20 minutes.
Dean, who makes nearly 46 percent of his shots from the arc, did not start for the second consecutive game but played 23 minutes off the bench. With his five 3-pointers, Dean moved into fourth place on the school's all-time single-season list with 81.
"I feel terrible for him because he's completely exhausted," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "You know when you're hot like that and you're asking for breaks, you know it's serious."
After Luke Meyer's jumper drew Saint Louis (7-18, 4-8 USA) within 39-36 with 18:30 left, Louisville (23-4, 11-2) broke open the contest with an 18-4 run. Dean ignited the spurt with a 3-pointer.
"He's just had a lot of bad luck," Pitino said. "But he's continuing to play through this and that's a credit to his toughness. He's a tough son-of-a-gun."
Larry O'Bannon added five of his 17 points in the burst, which was capped by another 3-pointer from Dean with 12:25 remaining to make it 57-40. Saint Louis got no closer than 12 thereafter.
Francisco Garcia scored 13 points for the Cardinals, who have won 12 of their last 13 and moved 1/2 game ahead of idle Charlotte for first place in Conference USA.
"I want to congratulate Louisville on a good win and on a great season," said Saint Louis coach Brad Soderberg, who was ejected in the first half. "Provided Taquan doesn't get sick, they are going to be tough to beat as the tournament comes along."
Ellis Myles had 13 points and 18 rebounds - his conference-leading ninth double-double - to help Louisville to a 40-22 edge on the boards.
Izik Ohanon scored 14 of his 18 in the first half as the Billikens shot 62 percent (13-of-21) to remain within striking distance at 36-34.
"Saint Louis is a team that's great at making the mid-range shot and they do it with their blocker-motion type of action," Pitino said. "(Freshmen Juan Palacios and Lorrenzo Wade) were both struggling in the first half because they've never seen that type of offense before. We tried to warn them about it, but Ohanon had a big half because of it."
Saint Louis went cold after intermission, making just 37 percent (10-of-30).
Soderberg was ejected with 4:27 left in the first half after picking up two quick technical fouls for what official Curtis Shaw called "excessive gesturing and a violation of bench decorum."
"To the best of my knowledge if I elaborate on it I am going to get in trouble, so I will just confess to the fact that I shouldn't have done what I did and I will take full responsibility."