No. 2 Louisville 94, No. 6 Houston 65
Records: Louisville 28-5, Houston 17-16
Louisville advances to Saturday’s final, against the winner of No. 1 Cincinnati and No. 4 UConn. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. Louisville will play in a conference tournament final for the third straight year.
Louisville guard Russ Smith scored 16 of the Cardinals’ first 21 points en route to 27 first-half points, a school record for points in a half.
Smith finished with a career-high 42 points, the highest scoring game by a conference player this season and the most points scored by an individual in a conference tournament this season. Smith’s 42 points are the third most in a game in school history.
Through two games, he has the best scoring average in the tournament at 29.0 points per game.
Smith averaged 25.67 points in three games vs. Houston and 30.5 points in two games at FedExForum.
Russ Smith (1,837 career points) is fifth on Louisville’s all-time scoring list, passing three players today.
Louisville, which entered the day No. 1 in the nation in scoring margin at 21.3, has won its two tournament games by an average margin of 45.0 points.
Louisville’s Stephan Van Treese made his first three-point field goal of the year.
The Cardinals scored 90 points in consecutive games for the second time this year.
Houston’s Danuel House had his first double-double of the year (12 points, career-high 13 rebounds).
With the win, Louisville has won 11 straight postseason games, and 19 of its last 20 postseason games. Louisville has won its last nine conference tournament games.
The American is the only conference tournament thus far with two 35+ point individual performances (Smith’s 42, Isaiah Sykes 36 vs. Temple)
For the fourth straight game, Louisville had at least 45 points in a single half.