Louisville Booms Hofstra 97-69

Russ Smith


Russ Smith scored 21 of his game-high 30 points in the first half and No. 3 Louisville made 12 3-pointers to set the tone for a 97-69 rout of Hofstra on Tuesday night. Louisville’s victory in the first of four games in the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament was its 18th straight dating to last season, tying a school record. Chris Jones added 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting with seven assists for Louisville, while Montrezl Harrell had 19. Having a couple of regulars back helped Louisville. Besides Luke Hancock, Louisville also welcomed back junior forward Chane Behanan. Cardinals fans only had to wait 3:45 to greet Hancock, the Final Four MVP, with cheers of “Luuuke!” as he checked in. “It felt great, 100 percent,” Hancock said. “Felt good. Just trying to play hard and play defense. I felt good about them playing mostly zone so I was going to be able contribute and help out. I was really trying to help out on defense, trying to do the little things.” Behanan came in with 12:09 remaining in the half to cheers as well, putting the defending champions close to full strength. Wayne Blackshear added 9 points off of 3-5 shooting from the three point line and Luke Hancock added two threes himself for a total of eight points. The Cards next face Cornell on Friday.

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