Bowling Green, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Terry Rozier had 32 points and three steals in the fourth-ranked Louisville Cardinals' 76-67 victory over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday.
The game almost got ugly with 38.7 seconds left before the half. After a post- rebound scrum, Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell tried to throw a punch at Western Kentucky guard Avery Patterson. Shortly after, head coaches Rick Pitino and Ray Harper were both given technicals for jawing with each other.
Harrell, who had 14 points and six rebounds, was ejected from the game. He will be suspended for Tuesday's game against Cal State-Northridge.
"It was a heated basketball game," said Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson. "I saw Montrezl get tripped and fall to the ground. I think he was trying to get up. He felt kind of trapped, he was trying to stand up. As he extended his arms to get his balance, I guess whatever happened."
Chris Jones added 10 points for the Cardinals (10-0), who survived their first true road test of the season.
T.J. Price ended with 24 points and seven rebounds for the Hilltoppers (5-5), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. DJ Clayton tallied 14 points.
"I thought we competed," said Harper. "Physically, we competed hard. We didn't always play as smart as I would like. You can't fault the effort. We gave ourselves a chance right there with about four minutes to go, down five, with the basketball. Give them credit, they stepped up."
Western Kentucky would not go away in the second half and got within 58-54 with 5:24 left. But the Cardinals responded with a 9-1 run that Anton Gill capped with two free throws for a 67-55 lead.
Rozier went 5-of-6 from the line in the final 48 seconds to secure the victory.
Earlier, the Hilltoppers closed out the first half on a 9-1 run to get within 29-24. They got as close as two in the early stages of the second half.
The all-time series is tied, 39-39. The Cardinals have won six straight against Western Kentucky ... The Hilltoppers have dropped nine straight games against ranked opponents.