LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Gorgui Dieng had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lift No. 5 Louisville to an 80-58 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday — the Cardinals' 17th straight win at the KFC Yum! Center.
Kyle Kuric added 18 points and Peyton Siva had 16 for Louisville, which is in the midst of a 10-game homestand that will get a lot tougher when the Cardinals host No. 21 Memphis next Saturday after finishing final exams this coming week.
Louisville (9-0) used a 10-0 run late in the first half to open up a 19-point advantage at the break and was never threatened in the second half.
George Goode, who played three seasons at Louisville before transferring to pursue a graduate degree, had 17 points and 12 rebounds for FDU (1-8). Melquan Bolding added 23 points for the Knights.
In addition to Memphis, the Cardinals' upcoming schedule also features meetings with No. 18 Georgetown on Dec. 28 and top-ranked Kentucky on Dec. 31.
Louisville has already had seven different players sit out games this season with Saturday's absence of reserve guard Russ Smith (neck), but the Cardinals have relied on defense to remain undefeated.
Louisville took a double-digit lead midway through the first half, but there were spurts of inconsistent play. At one point, the Cardinals called a timeout with coach Rick Pitino staring at Siva and shouting, "You're just standing there!"
Pitino called another timeout 40 seconds later after Goode's putback dunk cut Louisville's lead to 27-18 when no one blocked out their former teammate. Dieng grabbed an offensive rebound after the timeout and scored to spark a 10-0 run that made the margin 19 points with 2:39 left in the first half.
FDU, which has lost 19 of its last 20 on the road and was picked to finish last in the Northeast Conference, never came closer than 16 the rest of the way.
Siva, Elisha Justice, Mike Marra, Stephan Van Treese, Wayne Blackshear and Rakeem Buckles have all missed at least one game this season because of injury. Buckles returned from right knee surgery after missing nearly 10 months in a 90-60 victory over IUPUI on Wednesday, but he did not play against the Knights.
Goode, a role player at Louisville who received a degree in communications before leaving for the Knights, got a loud ovation during pregame and shook Pitino's hand after being introduced. He also scored the game's first points with a dunk, but FDU's lead would be short-lived.
Siva answered with two layups and Louisville never trailed the rest of the way.