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Dec 15, 2001

Box Score| Notes

Postgame audio:

Jim O’Brien

By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Reece Gaines went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 39 seconds and scored 12 points in Louisville’s 66-61 win over Ohio State on Saturday.

Ellis Myles scored 17 points before fouling out, and freshman Brandon Bender scored 11 for the Cardinals (6-1), who continue the best start since the 1996-97 team started 10-1.

Brian Brown scored 12 points and Zach Williams added 11 for Ohio State (6-1), which lost in its first road game.

The Cardinals trailed by one at the half and by two when Gaines picked up his fourth foul with 17:09 left in the game. Pitino pulled his leading scorer out of the game, but Louisville, with freshmen Carlos Hurt, Larry O’Bannon and Bender, sophomore Ellis Myles and junior Erik Brown on the floor, responded with a 15-6 run.

Myles had six points during the spurt and Bender’s layup with 12:16 left gave Louisville a 44-37 lead.

Hurt fouled out with seven minutes left, but the Cardinals only padded the lead. Erik Brown converted a midcourt steal into a fast-break layup with 5:25 left to give Louisville its biggest lead at 55-45.

Gaines came back in at the five-minute mark, and Louisville stayed comfortably ahead until Brian Brown’s breakaway layup with 2:44 left started a 7-0 Buckeyes’ run. Erik Brown fouled Boban Savovic on a 3-point shot with 1:35 left, and the Yugoslavian guard sank all three of the ensuing foul shots to trim the deficit to 59-58.

Gaines sank a free throw 12 seconds later, and Brian Brown traveled on a drive with 1:03 remaining to return the ball to Louisville.

Gaines hit two more free throws with 39.1 seconds left, Brian Brown missed a layup, and Erik Brown rebounded with 25 seconds left. He hit a free throw with 23.7 seconds left for a five-point Louisville lead, and Gaines hit two more with 12.6 seconds remaining to keep the Buckeyes at bay.

The teams were called for a total of 54 fouls. Louisville finished 18-of-34 from the free-throw line (53 percent), while Ohio State went 22-of-33 (67 percent).

The Cardinals were outrebounded 44-40 and went only 4-of-28 from 3-point range (14 percent), but scored 19 points off 16 Ohio State turnovers and held the Buckeyes to 1-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

Louisville sophomore forward Luke Whitehead was a surprising starter after a hard fall in Wednesday’s 75-49 win over Coppin State. Whitehead played 12 minutes, getting three assists, a rebound and a steal but no points.