Rodney McCray scored 16 points and led an early second-half run that led ninth-ranked Louisville to a 63-58 victory over De Paul today.
De Paul (8-6) held a 34-33 halftime lead, but the Cardinals scored eight straight points to open the second half. McCray's rebound basket with 15:16 left in the game gave Louisville a 41-34 lead.
"The thing that hurt us was the first five minutes of the second half," said De Paul Coach Ray Meyer. "You take that out and it was a pretty even game. That was a great run at us, and it was the turning point."
The Cardinals (13-2) led by nine points down the stretch, but the Blue Demons cut into that margin in the last four minutes.
A rebound stuff by Kevin Holmes and a jumper by Jerry McMillan cut the lead to 59-56 with 2:15 left.
Scooter McCray made two free throws to push the lead back to five, but Holmes responded with a rebound basket to make it 61-58 with nine seconds left. Lancaster Gordon's two free throws with three seconds left secured the victory.
Milt Wagner scored 12 points and reserve Jeff Hall 10 for Louisville, which won its fifth straight.
The Blue Demons had trouble with Louisville's zone defense, which Coach Denny Crum said he went to in the second half because "De Paul was making strictly a one-on-one game of it. We have more of a team-oriented defense and we just weren't that effective one on one."
Said Meyer: "We had a tough time matching up inside and then they went to the zone at the other end of the court and that hurt us."