Louisville, KY – Russ Smith posted 23 points and five steals as No. 2 Louisville opened its season with a 79-51 victory over Manhattan.
Peyton Siva had 10 points and 10 assists, while Kevin Ware added 10 points for the Cardinals (1-0), who lost in the Final Four last season.
"Well, we finally played some competition to help us improve," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "The one thing I am happy with us in all three scrimmages is our defense has been very good."
Rhamel Brown posted 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Jaspers (0-1), who posted a 21-13 mark last season, including 12-6 in league play. Michael Alvarado had 13 points in the loss.
"What an opener. We struggled finding the flow offensively and we couldn't really get back in it and they stayed after us," said Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. "They did a really good job turning this over you can't play a team like Louisville and have 27 turnovers, that was the difference in the game. I give them all the credit they are a very good basketball team and they did a very good job getting the win tonight."
Louisville led this game from start to finish and held a 12-3 advantage early and built the lead up to 13, but Manhattan was able to cut into the deficit and keep it close.
A Chane Behanan layup in the final seconds of the half helped the Cardinals take a 28-19 lead into the break.
Louisville used a 10-1 run early in the second half to take a 40-23 advantage.
A Donovan Kates jumper with 12 minutes left cut the Cardinals' lead to 45-32, but consecutive 3-pointers from Luke Hancock and Ware essentially put the game away.
Louisville hosts Samford on Thursday ... The Cardinals have won six of the eight matchups between the two schools ... Manhattan posted 37 boards compared to 33 for Louisville, but the Jaspers shot just 35.7 percent while the Cardinals made 45.2 percent of their shots.