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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cardinals coach David Padgett, who played center a Louisville, said he sometimes demands more from Anas Mahmoud than players at other positions.
So even after Mahmoud stuffed the stat sheet - and stuffed Siena over and over and over - in a near-triple-double on Wednesday night, Padgett said he believes Mahmoud is capable of playing even better.
That could be a scary thought for Louisville's future opponents after Mahmoud posted 17 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots as the Cardinals used a big second half to rout Siena 86-60.
"As well as he played, I really didn't think he played that great of a game," Padgett said with a laugh. "You guys (in the media) are going to think I'm crazy for saying that. . But he's got a good feel for the game, and he lets it come to him."
Quentin Snider added a season-high 16 points, and Ray Spalding had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for Louisville (5-2), which led by only a point with 15:26 to play before reeling off 18 straight points.
Louisville had 15 blocks in all as it rebounded from last week's consecutive losses to Purdue and Seton Hall that had knocked the Cardinals out of the Top 25.
Mahmoud said Padgett yelled at him at halftime, and Mahmoud called his four turnovers "unacceptable." But he was dominant for much of the game and helped spark the Cardinals in the second half.
"All we did was play Louisville basketball in the second half," Mahmoud said. "We have to create our own energy, and we have to come out and play in the second half every single game from now on."
Sammy Friday had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Siena (2-6), which shot just 31.1 percent (19 of 61) from the floor.
Siena gave Louisville all it wanted early. The Saints had a 10-0 first-half run to take a 31-27 lead. The Cardinals regrouped to regain a 39-36 lead by halftime. Siena pulled within 48-47 before four straight points by Mahmoud started the 18-0 run.
Playing in the city famous for the Kentucky Derby, Siena coach Jimmy Patsos compared his team's performance with a thoroughbred trying to get the distance at Churchill Downs.
"We got them at the first turn and second turn," Patsos said. "Just couldn't make it down that stretch."
Mahmoud exited the game with 3:38 to play. Padgett said he didn't consider putting him back in just so he could try to get a triple-double.
"It's remarkable achievement to have nine (blocks) in a game," Padgett said, "but the only stat we're interested in is the final score."
Siena: The Saints hung around for a while by leading Louisville in some key categories. Siena got 18 offensive rebounds en route to a 21-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Louisville: Mahmoud tied a career high in points one game after being held scoreless and not attempting a shot against Seton Hall. His rebounds and blocks were also career highs.
Louisville will host Indiana on Saturday in a border-state battle, then face Bryant at home on Monday.
Wednesday night's game was part of the round robin of the Gotham Classic, in which Louisville, Siena, Bryant, Memphis and Albany all play each other over the next two weeks, with Louisville's Dec. 16 game against Memphis in New York's Madison Square Garden the marquee matchup. Siena will host Albany on Saturday in its next game.
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