LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Motivated to move on from its postseason ban, No. 19 Louisville dominated Boston College from start to finish.
The veteran leadership of Trey Lewis helped the Cardinals put away the Eagles.
Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel added 13 as Louisville routed Boston College 79-47 on Saturday, a day after the school imposed a postseason ban for recruiting violations.
The Cardinals (19-4, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) followed up Monday’s upset of No. 2 North Carolina with a lopsided win despite uneven stretches just after halftime. The absence of leading scorer Damion Lee (bruised knee) impacted their rotation, but plenty of teammates stepped up to fill the void in an emotional game.
“I was tearing up after the national anthem,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “It was very emotionally draining for all of us. But we got through it, we got a win. Now we move on.”
Several baskets by Lewis midway through the second half helped spark a 10-0 run that gave Louisville a comfortable lead en route to keeping the Eagles (7-16, 0-10) winless in league play.
“It was very emotional,” said Lewis, who made all nine free throws along with 3 of 6 shooting. “I’d never been involved in anything like that before. We wanted to come out and play well.”
The Cardinals succeeded by making 16 of 26 from the field after intermission to finish at 51 percent. They controlled the paint 44-20, outrebounded Boston College 38-30 and forced 18 turnovers.
Sammy Barnes-Thompkins scored 11 points for Boston College before fouling out.
Even with their top scorer on the bench in street clothes, the Cardinals got the dominant win they wanted one day after an announcement by Louisville’s president that the team wouldn’t play in the ACC or NCAA tournaments. President James Ramsey said an investigation revealed that violations did occur when the school reviewed allegations by escort Katina Powell that former basketball staffer Andre McGee paid her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.
Lee and Lewis - graduate transfers who came to Louisville with hopes of playing in the tournament - said the team wanted to make the most of its nine remaining games. Other than a few lapses that allowed Boston College to get within single digits, the Cardinals used most of their bench to that end.
Donovan Mitchell added 10 points, Quentin Snider and Jaylen Johnson each had nine and Chinanu Onuaku added eight with 13 rebounds. Ten of 12 players scored for the Cardinals, which Lee said demonstrated their determination to stick together over their final nine games.
“We just have to make sure we rally around each other and continue to support each other throughout the whole thing,” Lee said. “We have accomplished a mini goal, now we have one day to prepare for Duke.”
Dennis Clifford added nine points for the Eagles, who got within 37-28 before Louisville settled down and coasted to victory.
“We don’t have a lot of offensive weapons coming off the bench and teams go on a run,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “Our defense can only hold for so long.”
BLAME US, NOT THEM
Asked about petitions circulating that ask for the postseason ban to be reconsidered, Pitino reiterated his belief that players shouldn’t pay the price for the actions of others. Schools and coaches, on the other hand, should pay dearly, if it were up to him, starting with a $10 million fine for schools and a big financial hit for coaches.
“Even though they (coaches) didn’t know about it, it doesn’t matter, they should be fined 50 percent of their salaries because they were leading,” Pitino said.
Boston College: The Eagles shot 39 percent from the field and made 6 of 21 from 3-point range.
Louisville: The Cardinals’ 1956 NIT Championship team was honored in a halftime ceremony that featured several members. … Lee got some of the biggest cheers when he was brought to center court for an honorary tipoff.
Boston College: Hosts No. 2 North Carolina on Tuesday.
Louisville: Visits Duke on Monday.
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