Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Red-hot Cardinals close out regular season against Pirates

Louisville, KY (Sports Network) – The 16th-ranked Louisville Cardinals try to
continue their winning ways today, as they wrap up their regular season
campaign against the Seton Hall Pirates in Big East play from Freedom Hall.

The Cardinals enter the tilt riding a five-game winning streak and that
includes a 76-69 victory at Connecticut in their last outing a week
ago. The win improved Louisville, which already reached the 20-win plateau
for the fifth straight season under head coach Rick Pitino, to 21-8 overall
and 11-4 in conference play. The Cardinals have already secured one of
the four first-round byes for the upcoming Big East Tournament, but
their seed will depend on this weekend’s conference results.

As for SHU, it suffered a 70-67 setback in overtime at Cincinnati on
Wednesday and because of that the team was eliminated from postseason
contention. It is the sixth loss is past seven games by the Pirates,
who dropped to 13-15 overall and 4-11 in conference play. The team has no
shot at winning record this season, but it does have this one final chance
to notch its first league road win (0-7) of the season.

As far as the all-time series goes, Louisville owns a 6-3 edge over SHU and
it has won the last three meetings.

The Pirate shot a lackluster 37.9 percent from the field and converted only 9-
of-16 free-throw tries, as they suffered a three-point loss in overtime at
Cincinnati earlier in the week. Eugene Harvey paced the team in defeat with 24
points and four assists, while Brian Laing added 18 points and five boards. On
the season, Harvey, who is a leading contender for the Big East Rookie of the
Year award, heads SHU in scoring (16.5 ppg) as well as assists (4.2 apg).
Laing is hot on his heels with 16.1 pp and he is also pulling down a team-best
6.7 rpg. Jamar Nutter adds 12.6 ppg for the Pirates, who are scoring 74.8 ppg
and forcing their opponents into 18.0 turnovers per game.

The Cardinals have clamped down on defense this season, as they are holding
their foes to just 62.3 ppg while forcing them into 15.8 miscues per contest.
Offensively, the club is turning in 71.0 ppg behind the duo Terrence Williams
and Edgar Sosa. Williams is clearly the team’s most important player, as he
leads Louisville in scoring (12.1 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg) and assists (3.7
apg). Sosa chips in with 10.6 ppg and he has ben a factor on defense as well,
recording a team-high 42 steals. In the squad’s last game, Williams turned in
17 points, seven rebound and four assists to lead the Cardinals to a seven-
point win over UConn. Louisville shot 48.4 percent from the field and
outscored UConn in the paint 46-22.