Rick Pitino Wins 600th as No. 8 Louisville Cruises

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Senior Kyle Kuric scored 14 points in the first half to pace Louisville (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) and Rick Pitino earned his 600th college win in the Cardinals' 83-48 victory over Tennessee-Martin on Friday night.

Pitino is the 38th coach to reach 600 wins. He is the 15th fastest to the milestone, doing it one game quicker than former Louisville coach Denny Crum.

The full-court press that has sparked so many of Pitino's victories was on display early as the Cardinals scored 18 first-half points off 13 turnovers.

Freshman Chane Behanan had 14 points and 12 rebounds in his debut for Louisville. Peyton Siva added 10 points and nine assists. Kuric finished with 14.

Mike Liabo had 15 points and four assists for the Skyhawks.

Louisville never trailed and led 47-23 at the half.

The Cardinals' pressure sparked a five-minute 15-2 run less than four minutes into the game that set the tone for the game and put Louisville up 25-7 with 11:05 left in the first half. The Cardinals forced five of their 21 turnovers during the stretch.

Louisville shared the ball throughout, racking up 20 assists on 31 field goals. The Cardinals were fifth in the NCAA in assists last year with 17.4 a game.

Pitino's wins come from four head coaching stops: Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. He also has a 2-4 record while interim head coach at Hawaii during the 1975-76 season.

Pitino won a national championship in 1996 at Kentucky and is the only coach to take three different schools (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four.

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