|Padgett's 26 points lead No. 13 Louisville past No. 17 Notre Dame|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 29 February 2008 02:09|
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey thinks the Cardinals can hold their own anywhere.
``Who's better in the country?'' Brey said after 13th-ranked Louisville beat his No. 17 Irish 90-85 Thursday night. ``I don't know who's better in the country than them.''
The Cardinals (23-6, 13-3) won their eighth straight game to tie Georgetown atop the conference. David Padgett scored a season-high 26 points and Louisville overcame a dazzling 40-point performance from Notre Dame center Luke Harangody.
``This is a great win for us, but we can't relax,'' Padgett said. ``We want to finish it like the way we're playing now. We want to win two more games and win a Big East championship.''
Louisville plays Villanova on Sunday and ends the season at No. 11 Georgetown on March 8.
Elsewhere among ranked teams, No. 4 UCLA beat Arizona State 70-49; No. 8 Stanford beat Washington 82-79; No. 10 Wisconsin beat No. 19 Michigan State 57-42; No. 14 Butler beat Wright State 66-61; and No. 22 Washington State beat California 70-49.
No. 13 Louisville 90, No. 17 Notre Dame 85
The host Cardinals looked among the nation's best for the game's first 35 minutes. Louisville never trailed and led 73-54 on Padgett's layup with 5:41 to play.
Harangody, however, made sure Notre Dame (21-6, 11-4) wasn't finished. He knocked down the first three 3-pointers of his career in the final 1:32, eventually pulling the Irish within 86-81 with 23 seconds left.
In the end, it wasn't quite enough to overcome the Cardinals. Earl Clark and Edgar Sosa made four straight free throws in the last 19 seconds to preserve the victory and keep coach Rick Pitino's late-season plan for the Cardinals intact.
``We wanted to win eight out of 10 and we're doing it,'' Pitino said. ``We've secured it with two to go. Now we've got two games to go to win a championship.''
No. 4 UCLA 70, Arizona State 49
Kevin Love had 18 points and 12 rebounds for his 17th double-double in the Bruins' eighth straight win over the Sun Devils.
Darren Collison and Josh Shipp each added 17 points for the Bruins (25-3, 13-2 Pac-10), who have won nine of 10 and maintained their one-game lead over Stanford in the conference race.
The Sun Devils (17-10, 7-8) had hoped to spring an upset and solidify their bid for their first NCAA tournament berth since 2003. But they struggled against the Bruins' defense, which allows 57.9 points per game, sixth in the nation.
No. 8 Stanford 82, Washington 79
Brook Lopez had 21 points and seven rebounds, and Stanford kept the Huskies winless at Maples Pavilion since 1993.
Anthony Goods added 16 points for the Cardinal (23-4, 12-3 Pac-10), who couldn't break away from the eighth-place Huskies despite never trailing in their school-record 15th home victory of the season. Stanford has won 10 of 11 overall heading into Saturday's home finale against Washington State.
Jon Brockman had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (15-14, 6-10).
No. 10 Wisconsin 57, No. 19 Michigan State 42
Brian Butch hit a career-high four 3-pointers as Wisconsin used a late run to shake loose from Michigan State. It was the fifth straight victory for Wisconsin (24-4, 14-2 Big Ten). Michigan State (22-6, 10-5) has lost three of its past five, including three straight road games.
Butch finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. The Badgers' defense did the rest.
Wisconsin frustrated the Spartans' Drew Neitzel all night, holding him to a single 3-pointer on 1-for-10 shooting. Goran Suton scored 14 and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Michigan State.
No. 14 Butler 66, Wright State 61
Julian Betko scored a career-high 17 points, all in the first half, and Butler clinched the No. 1 seed in next week's Horizon League tournament.
Mike Green had nine of his 15 points in the second half, and Matt Howard added 12 points for the host Bulldogs. Vaughn Duggins led Wright State with 17 points.
Butler (26-3, 15-2) finishes the regular season against last-place Detroit on Saturday. The Bulldogs had already clinched at least a tie for the regular-season title, and the win assured them of the top seed and a bye into the conference tournament semifinals at Butler on March 8.
Wright State (20-8, 13-5) would get the No. 2 seed and a spot in the semifinals by beating Valparaiso on Saturday. But a loss to the Crusaders could drop the Raiders to the third seed and force them to play a first-round game at home on Tuesday.
No. 22 Washington State 70, California 49
Taylor Rochestie scored 18 points, Kyle Weaver added 17 and defense-minded Washington State showed off its offensive skills.
The Cougars (22-6, 10-6 Pac-10) shot 54 percent, going 8-for-17 on 3-pointers to win for the fifth time in six games with one of their best offensive performances in conference play this season.
Everything came easy for Washington State at the Golden Bears (15-11, 6-9). The Cougars even scored on a rare alley-oop pass from Rochestie to Robbie Cowgill to take a 64-46 lead with less than 7 minutes to go.
The Cougars' defense also shone as usual in a matchup between the conference's highest-scoring and stingiest teams. Cal played from behind after missing seven of its first eight shots.
The Bears shot 37 percent overall and finished 28 points below their conference- leading scoring average of 77.8 points.