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Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:28 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(6) Louisville 85, Tcu 61

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A proficient rebounder, Louisville center Ellis Myles showed he also can pass.

Myles recorded only the second triple-double in school history with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the sixth-ranked Cardinals routed TCU, 85-61, in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament.

"Coach (Rick Pitino) said I had the biggest upside on the team and I took that to heart, so I try to get somebody else involved when I make that extra pass or grab a rebound," Myles said.

The 6-7, 245-pound Myles, who averages more than nine rebounds per game, registered the first triple-double in Conference USA tournament history. The only other Louisville player with a triple-double is Samaki Walker, who accomplished the feat in 1995.

"He (Myles) does for me what Antoine Walker did for me when I was at Kentucky," Pitino said. "He is our (center) who does so many different things for us and gets Larry O'Bannon his backward dunks. Ellis is a good passer and he is not under-appreciated by us."

One of the hottest teams in the country down the stretch, Louisville (27-4) has won 16 of its last 17 games and will face UAB or DePaul in the semifinals Friday. The Cardinals captured their first Conference USA regular-season title.

O'Bannon scored all 18 of his points in the second half for Louisville on 6-of-6 shooting. Francisco Garcia added 15 for the Cardinals.

"We are a dedicated team and just want to win," Miles said. "We also are a better road team than we were last year."

Louisville started slowly, missing its first 10 3-pointers, and TCU (19-13) closed to 19-15 on two free throws by Nile Murray with 5:38 left in the first half.

But the Cardinals took control with an 11-0 spurt to build a 36-19 halftime lead before breaking it open in the second half and leading by as many as 30.

"In the first half the defense was there," Pitino said. "At this point in the season on a given night everyone knows what you do when you play league teams. Defense will help you win games and not offense."

Aaron Curtis scored 14 points to lead TCU, which defeated Marquette, 60-57, in overtime in the first round Wednesday.

All five starters scored in double figures for Louisville as Taquan Dean contributed 12 and Otis George chipped in with 11. Juan Palacios grabbed 12 rebounds off the bench.

After shooting 36 percent (14-of-38) in the first half, the Cardinals shot 59 percent (17-of-29) in the second to finish at 46 percent. Louisville made eight of its last 14 3-point attempts.

The Cardinals forced 21 turnovers and held TCU to 25 percent shooting (6-of-24) in the opening 20 minutes.

The loss denied the Horned Frogs their first 20-win season since 2000-01.


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