Jones, No. 9 Louisville beat So. Mississippi 69-38

By Gary B. Graves, Associated Press | Posted - Nov. 29, 2013 at 7:28 p.m.



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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Chris Jones came off the bench to score 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and No. 9 Louisville bounced back from its first loss to roll past Southern Mississippi 69-38 Friday night.

Five days after a lackluster effort in a 93-84 loss to North Carolina, the Cardinals (6-1) got a better effort on both ends with the help of two new starters. Freshman point guard Terry Rozier got things going offensively by making his first three from beyond the arc en route to nine points, while redshirt freshman center Mangok Mathiang had seven rebounds and three blocks.

Jones made 4 of 7 from long range and 5 of 10 overall. Louisville shot 23 of 55 (42 percent) and matched a season high with 12 3-pointers on 31 attempts.

The Cardinals' trademark pressure defense forced 22 turnovers and stifled the Golden Eagles (6-1) at the start of both halves, holding them scoreless for more than 12 combined minutes.

Louisville senior guard Russ Smith scored his 11 points in the second half. Forward Montrezl Harrell also scored 11 with nine rebounds.

Louisville outrebounded Southern Mississippi 38-33, scored 21 points off turnovers and made 16 assists.

Michael Craig's nine points led the Golden Eagles, who shot 13 of 45 from the field (29 percent) in suffering their first loss.

The Cardinals had nowhere to go but up after losing to the Tar Heels in a game marked by bad shots against the zone and frequent defensive breakdowns. That led Louisville coach Rick Pitino to change his starting lineup, inserting Rozier into Jones' point guard spot with Mathiang supplanting Stephan Van Treese in the middle

It took just 21 seconds for the moves to start paying off as Rozier buried the first of back-to-back 3-pointers followed by Mathiang's jumper off the glass as Louisville scored the first 13 points over 5:02. Though 5-of-9 shooting helped, improved ball movement against the Golden Eagles' zone helped set up those attempts as the patient Cardinals worked it around, inside and out in recording 12 assists, more than they had in both of the past two games.

Though the Cardinals' good shooting cooled off to 12 of 29 (41 percent) by halftime as Louisville attempted 17 from beyond the arc, the opportunities were there and Jones came off the bench to sink of 2 of 3. Left out of the fun were Smith _ who had 35 points in Sunday's loss _ and Hancock, whose combined 0-for-8 start from long range left them scoreless.

Hancock finished with five points.

Louisville's defense also started with noticeably more energy, rarely allowing good looks and holding Southern Mississippi scoreless for the first 5:30 before Jerrold Brooks' 3-pointer. The Golden Eagles shot just 4 of 17 in the first half, were outrebounded 20-12 and committed 12 turnovers leading to 12 Cardinals points.

Southern Mississippi recovered briefly to get within 16-8 with 9:44 left in the half, but Louisville closed with an 18-5 run for a 34-13 lead at the half. The Golden Eagles went scoreless for the first 6:54 of the second half, allowing the Cardinals to go up 45-15 and coast from there.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Gary B. Graves

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