Wayne Blackshear scored 19 points, as 11th- ranked Louisville defeated Rutgers, 68-48, on Wednesday.
Blackshear shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc, for the Cardinals (19-4, 7-3 Big East), who have won three straight games to pull within a half-game of Syracuse and Marquette for the top spot in the conference. Russ Smith recorded 14 points, five rebounds and four assists.
"I think Wayne has really worked hard on his jump shot," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "He had no arc in high school and now he's developed a picture perfect jump shot, he knows how to play the game, he's a tough kid and he's probably been for the last two weeks 100-percent for the first time in three years."
Rutgers (12-9, 3-7), which has lost five consecutive games, had trouble shooting throughout the night and was limited to 32.0 percent shooting from the field. Eli Carter had a team-high 13 points in the setback.
"We need to win a game," said Rutgers head coach Mike Rice. "It's difficult in this league because this is supposed to be fun; this is supposed to be the best part of their lives."
Louisville led 28-26 at halftime, but an early dunk by Rutgers' Wally Judge tied the game at 28-28.
However, a three by Blackshear sparked a 13-0 surge for the Cardinals over the next 3 1/2 minutes to give them a 41-28 advantage.
Austin Johnson's uncontested layup at the 15:11 mark stopped the bleeding for the Scarlet Knights, but Louisville opened it up with a 10-0 run, capped off by 3-pointers by Luke Hancock and Smith to give them a 51-30 lead with 11:48 to go.
In the closing minutes, Louisville led by as many as 25 points.
Rutgers was unable to do much in the second half, shooting just 25 percent, including 1-of-8 from three-point range.
Carter scored 11 points in the first half ... Louisville is 11-1 all-time against Rutgers, with its lone loss coming on Jan. 28, 2006.