Wednesday , Mar , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Dean and Cardinals soar to NIT semifinals

Louisville, KY (Sports Network) – Taquan Dean erupted for 26 points in leading
the Louisville Cardinals to a 74-56 win over the Missouri State Bears in the
quarterfinal round of the NIT from Freedom Hall.

Terrence Williams added 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals
in the win for the Cardinals (21-12) as well, while Juan Palacios recorded
eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Coming up a point shy of a double-
double was Brian Johnson who cleared 10 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.

The Bears (22-9) were paced by Kellen Easley who tallied 13 points and pulled
down seven rebounds, while Tyler Chaney accounted for 12 points. Blake Ahearn,
who failed to get to the free-throw line after hitting 117-of-125 chances this
year, made a mere 2-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-9 beyond the arc in
the setback.

Missouri State, which led by as many as five points in the first half, shot a
meager 25 percent from the floor in the frame allowing the Cardinals to claim
a 33-26 edge at the break.

In the second half the Bears continued to struggle from the field (10-of-35),
which allowed Louisville to cruise to the victory at home.

The Cardinals, who led by as many as 23 points, shot 50 percent from the floor
on the night, helping them to overcome 17 turnovers. With the victory the
squad will face off against either Cincinnati or the defending NIT champion
South Carolina Gamecocks in the semifinals from Madison Square Garden on
Tuesday night.