Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Montrezl Harrell scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 5 Louisville to an 82-57 win over Florida International on Friday.
The Cardinals (7-0) used strong defense and a balanced attack to dominate the Panthers. Anton Gill led Louisville with 15 points, including three shots from beyond the arc, and three others -- including Wayne Blackshear -- added double-digit totals.
Louisville collected 21 assists on 32 made shots.
Dennis Mavin paced FIU (5-4) with 15 points, but the Panthers could never establish any offense. Louisville forced 25 turnovers and scored 32 points off them.
The Cardinals shot 57.1 percent from the floor and dominated down low, blocking nine shots and outscoring FIU 44-26 in the paint.
Louisville's pressure defense overwhelmed FIU, and the Panthers could not find an answer. Louisville built its lead to 30 points early in the second half despite Marco Porcher Jimenez scoring 13 for FIU after the break.
"In the first half, I thought we got comfortable doing what we were doing," said Panthers coach Anthony Evans. "In the second half, I think they picked it up, the pressure, denying us the ball, and we never adjusted."
The Cardinals were a bit careless with 20 turnovers of their own, but the Panthers were not able to turn those into points.
"The thing that is missing from this basketball team and why they can't go from good to very good is turnovers," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
Over the final 10 minutes of the game, the Louisville lead fluctuated between 20-30 points.
Sloppy play and poor shooting marred the early portion of the first half. At the 16:09 mark, Louisville finally got on the board with a Blackshear dunk. Prior to that, the Cardinals turned the ball over four times.
The Cardinals were eventually able to get in an offensive rhythm. Down 10-6, they started an 18-0 run to take control of the game. It was capped by a Gill triple.
With 1:10 remaining in the first half, Tashawn Desir's three cut FIU's deficit back to single digits, but a quick 5-0 spurt that ended with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Blackshear extended Louisville's lead to 36-23 heading into the break.
Each team had 13 turnovers in the first half. Blackshear was one of three players with nine points, and he added five rebounds and a pair of assists.
Chinanu Onuaku had three of Louisville's seven first-half blocks.
Louisville has won 32 straight home games against non-conference opponents ... The Cardinals lead the all-time series with FIU 4-0 ... FIU has never beaten a ranked opponent ... Louisville's next game is Dec. 9 in New York against Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic ... FIU's next game is Dec. 12 at Florida Gulf Coast ... The Panthers played the first of eight straight road games.