- Associated Press - Friday, February 14, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Rick Pitino empathizes with Temple coach Fran Dunphy.

But the Louisville coach wasn’t going to make things any easier on him.

Montrezl Harrell scored a career-high 22 points and No. 13 Louisville built a 30-point first-half lead en route to an 82-58 victory over Temple on Friday night.

Will Cummings led Temple (6-17, 1-10 American Athletic Conference) with 16 points and Anthony Lee added 14. The Owls shot 37.3 percent from the field to drop their fourth straight game and fall into a tie for last place in the conference with Central Florida.

“They’re coming off a terrific season,” Pitino said. “It’s a rebuilding year. I’ve always said this - Fran Dunphy is one of the premier coaches in our game. He’s going through a tough season but it doesn’t get any better than him. Everyone always asks me to rate the top ten coaches I’ve seen in my life, and I always put him in the top ten in every discussion I have.”

Dunphy’s players could do little to stop the Cardinals, though.

Russ Smith scored 15 points to help Louisville (20-4, 9-2) improve to 7-1 in its last eight games.

Wayne Blackshear finished with 13 points, Luke Hancock scored 11, and Harrell had 10 rebounds and four blocks in the game postponed a day because of a snowstorm.

The Cardinals were coming off a nine-day layoff during which they made an interesting pact.

“We all said, ‘Let’s have some fun. Let’s grow beards until we lose,’” Pitino said. “It’s the first time in my life I’m trying to grow a beard. It’s the first time I looked in the mirror and saw multifaceted hair coming in different colors. We want to have some fun right now. Hopefully we can get on a streak and grow some full beards.”

Hoping for an upset, Temple designated the contest a “White-Out,” distributing 8,000 white T-shirts to fans.

But because of a sparse crowd, a majority of those T-shirts were left on their seats. And the undermanned and overmatched Owls never threatened to upset the defending national champs, committing eight turnovers in the first half and shooting 29 percent from 3-point range for the game.

The Owls have lost 12 of their last 13 games.

“It is frustrating?” Dunphy said. “Yeah it is. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But we’ve got to keep plugging away.”

The Cardinals held Dalton Pepper, Temple’s leading scorer, to seven points on 3-for-10 shooting.

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