Cardinals overcome slow start for crucial Big East victory.
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Louisville, Ky. • Two weeks of struggle had begun to raise questions about Louisville's ability to contend in the Big East.
And while some concerns remain to be addressed over the second half of their league schedule, the No. 12 Cardinals reclaimed some of their swagger with Sunday's 70-51 rout of No. 25 Marquette.
Russ Smith scored 18 points, Peyton Siva added 14 and Louisville shot 52 percent to run away from Marquette. The Cardinals' reserves helped out by outscoring the Golden Eagles' 19-10 21 points below their average coming in.
That contribution helped snap Louisville (18-4, 6-3) out of an early funk and the Cardinals went on to their most decisive victory since they started 4-0 in the league and beat opponents by average of 18.5 points per game. That dominance was forgotten in a three-game losing streak and a close win over Pittsburgh, which made the Cardinals feel even better about getting it back.
"The guards got back and got on the glass. I think we matched their physicality," said Siva, who shot 6 of 9 from the field including a 3-pointer to break out of a 7-for-31 slump in the four previous games. He also had seven assists. "Coach told us they were going to come in here and be physical with us. I think we did a better job after five minutes of matching their intensity."
No. 23 Minnesota 62, Iowa 59 • In Minneapolis, Austin Hollins hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left, lifting Minnesota to a victory over Iowa.
Hollins finished with 17 points for the Gophers (17-5, 5-4 Big Ten). With Minnesota trailing 59-57, the 6-foot-4 Hollins got open in the corner on an inbound play and made the shot over 6-foot-1 Mike Gesell. Hollins then hounded Gesell on the other end to force the ball out of bounds.
Andre Hollins, who had 15 points, made two free throws to stretch the lead to three, and Gesell's tying attempt rolled off the front rim.
Sunday's Top 25 scores
• No. 12 Louisville 70, No. 25 Marquette 51
• No. 23 Minnesota 62, Iowa 59