Russ Smith scored 20 points and fifth-ranked Louisville beat Western Kentucky 78-55 Saturday night for its sixth straight win.
The Cardinals (11-1) have won four straight and 21 of 24 overall in this series against their in-state rival. They took this game across the border an hour south of Western Kentucky's campus in Bowling Green to kick off a new four-year deal between the teams.
Wayne Blackshear added 17 points for Louisville, Chane Behanan had 14 and Montrezl Harrell 13. The Cardinals outshot Western Kentucky, led by double digits most of the way and controlled the game so much fans were chanting "Beat UK," anticipating a visit from Kentucky on Dec. 29.
Brandon Harris led Western Kentucky (8-5) with 14 points and George Fant had 11 before fouling out with 4:34 left. Eddie Alcantara also scored 11 but the Hilltoppers played without their top two scorers in losing their third straight.