Louisville wards off Charleston

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville coach Rick Pitino got an assist from his son, helping the fourth-ranked Cardinals get past College of Charleston 69-62 on Tuesday night.

Richard Pitino, a Cardinals assistant, moved Kyle Kuric to the middle of College of Charleston’s zone late in the game, which proved critical, as the elder Pitino acknowledged.

"I give big credit to my son, because he made the move that I thought won the game," Pitino said. "He said, ‘Put Kyle in there, he’ll make the shot or something good will happen.’ And he got in there and really bothered them."

The move paid off as Kuric hit a go-ahead jumper in the paint with 3:12 to play, giving Louisville a 60-59 lead. It was the start of an 8-0 run over a 70-second span that helped the Cardinals (11-0) remain unbeaten.

"Coach told me to flash to the middle and whoever’s open, throw it to them or make a play," Kuric said. "We are not use to having an open post like that."

Kuric finished with 17 points, and Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals.

Antwaine Wiggins had 23 points and seven rebounds for Charleston (9-2), which tied a season-high with 12 3-pointers.

"We just showed tremendous fortitude down the stretch to win," Pitino said. "When you give up 12 3s, you don’t normally win."

The Cardinals trailed 57-55 with 5:06 to play, but went on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes, capped by a 3-pointer by Chris Smith that put them ahead 66-59 with 2:06 left.

A layup by Trent Wiedeman rolled out after he broke Louisville’s full-court press with 2:54 left, a shot that would have given the Cougars a one-point lead. Louisville pushed the ball up the court, and Russ Smith hit a transition 3-pointer six seconds later to make it 64-60.

Louisville trailed for just the second time at the half this season.

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