LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Taking command with a 22-4 run that started midway of the first half, No. 12 Louisville beat No. 25 Marquette, 70-51, in a Big East Conference game on Sunday before a crowd of 21,418 at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals (18-4, 6-3 in the Big East) won their second straight game following a three-game losing streak which dropped from the No. 1 national ranking.
Marquette (15-5, 6-2), which had a two-game winning streak snapped, was deprived of an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the Big East and is tied for the lead with No. 6 Syracuse, one-half game in front of Louisville, Cincinnati, Georgetown and Notre Dame.
Louisville was led by Russ Smith with 18 points and Peyton Siva, who had been in a scoring slump with only two points in his previous two games), with 14.
Siva, who hit 6-of-9 shots, also had seven assists
The Cardinals shot 51.9 percent and had a 38-26 rebounding edge. They had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, almost equaling Marquette's total of 13 rebounds in the half.
Marquette was led by Vander Blue with 17 points and Trent Lockett with 16. Those two combined to make 12-of-22 shots, while the rest of the team was 7-of-31.
The Golden Eagles shot 35.8 percent from the field and had only six assists.
"That's a tribute to our defense," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "To our hustle and to our rotation."
Louisville got off to a slow start and didn't make a field goal until almost six minutes had expired. At that point the Cardinals trailed, 9-3.
Marquette led, 16-10, with 11:43 left in the half when Louisville mounted its decisive run. Smith started it with two free throws, a layup and an assist, and Siva ended it with a dunk, free throw and a layup to make it 32-20 with 3:44 left in the half.
The Cardinals led, 38-24, at halftime, and they opened the second half with a 15-6 run to lead, 53-30, with 13:27 to go. Marquette got no closer than 13 points from there.
"We did a good job in almost every aspect of the game," Pitino said. "I'm really, really happy with our effort. We badly needed a win, and we got it.
"Our subs gave us a big lift. Montrezl Herrell (six points, six rebounds) and Stephan Van Treese (four points, three rebounds) were tremendous. They gave us a big lift when we needed it. I couldn't have been more pleased with the entire team."
Marquette coach Buzz Williams was displeased, especially with his team's rebounding.
"They got 11 rebounds on their 16 missed shots in the first half," Williams said. "That's a recipe for winning, and I thought they were really, really good in both halves. They rebounded 42 percent of their missed shots. That's why they're a top-five team.
"We did a good job handling their pressure in the first half, but we settled for too many jump shots. Then in the second half we didn't handle their pressure (17 turnovers in all, 12 in the second half). Too often we turned it over without getting a field-goal attempt. It's hard to beat them without a field-goal attempt.
"We had too many holes today. Too many players who didn't play well. DaVante (Gardner, Marquette's second-leading scorer at 12.7 points per game) wasn't good (two points), Jamil (Wilson, two points) wasn't good. ... Junior (Cadogan, scoreless, two turnovers) wasn't any good. It is hard collectively. We are not a one- or two- or three-man team. Collectively, we have to be the best all of us can be at one time.
"They're really good. They're big, long, strong, fast and aggressive."
Louisville sophomore Wayne Blackshear, a starting forward who missed Monday's Pittsburgh game because of a slightly sprained right shoulder, returned, but did not start.
The 6-5 Blackshear, who is averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds, played 10 minutes and got six points and three rebounds.
Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware, a reserve guard who was suspended for the Pitt game for an undisclosed violation of team rules, also returned.
The 6-2 Ware played 14 minutes and didn't score but had one assist and two steals.
NOTES: Louisville has won eight of the last 10 times it has played Marquette and has a 42-26 advantage in a series that dates to 1951 ... Louisville sophomore Wayne Blackshear, a starting forward who missed Monday's game against Pittsburgh because of a sprained right shoulder, played Sunday but did not start. A starter in 19 games this season, the 6-5 Blackshear was averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds before Sunday, and his 30 three-pointers are second on the team. ... Sophomore Kevin Ware, a reserve guard for the Cards who was suspended for the Pitt game for an undisclosed violation of team rules, also returned to action. The 6-2 Ware is averaging 3.8 points and 1.5 rebounds.