No. 4 Louisville runs past Providence 80-62


No. 4 Louisville runs past Providence 80-62

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Russ Smith scored a game-high 23 points and No. 4 Louisville shot 53 percent to run away from Providence 80-62 on Wednesday night in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

Gorgui Dieng and Luke Hancock each added 11 points and Chane Behanan and Peyton Siva had 10 each as the Cardinals (13-1, 1-0) won their eighth straight.

Louisville, coming off Saturday's 80-77 victory over archrival Kentucky, didn't let down against Providence. Motivated by the memory of last season's 31-point road loss to the Friars, the Cardinals responded by handing Providence its worst defeat of the season.

Besides forcing 16 turnovers that led to 27 points, Louisville broke the game open in the second half with 63 percent shooting (15 of 24) after hitting 15 of 33 from the field before halftime.

Kadeem Batts had 17 points to lead Providence (8-5, 0-1)), which fell to 0-7 all-time in Louisville.

Though avoiding a post-Kentucky lull was part of Louisville's agenda, its main objective was starting off its conference schedule on a high note. The Cardinals were also seeking payback after last year's loss to the Friars, a game in which Providence obviously played well but one that Cardinals coach Rick Pitino noted was helped by his team's poor play.

There was no repeat of that as Louisville played well at both ends.

The biggest question for both teams was whether they would be at full strength.

Providence guard Bryce Cotton was a game-time decision because of a sore knee that sidelined him from Friday's loss to Brown. But the Big East's leading scorer (22.0 points per game) started and had a game-high 11 points in the first half.

Behanan was considered doubtful for Louisville with the flu but managed to start, though he seemed less energetic than usual.

The same could be said for the Cardinals' early play.

Providence scored the first eight points against the out-of-sync Cardinals before Smith, replaced in the starting lineup by Kevin Ware, hit a 3-pointer. But the Friars quickly increased their lead to 10 as Vincent Council answered from beyond the arc, creating unease from a crowd of 21,305.

Just as quickly, the Cardinals found their rhythm and tied the game with a 15-5 run as Smith added five straight points, Behanan scored off a turnover, Dieng and Hancock had tip-ins and Wayne Blackshear finished with a layup.

Providence took two brief leads soon after but Louisville was in high gear on both ends, especially on defense. The Cardinals turned up the pressure and ended the half with 19 points off 11 turnovers, helping them take a 37-31 lead.

Louisville quickly made it a double-digit lead on two free throws by Siva and Smith's layup off a steal by Behanan. The Cardinals followed with a 28-16 run including 13 straight that made it 69-49.

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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