L'Ville rolls past 'Nova in Big East semifinals

March 13, 2009 6:31:51 PM PDT
Earl Clark scored 17 points, and fifth-ranked Louisville turned up the pressure in the second half with two big runs to beat No. 10 Villanova 69-55 on Friday night and reach the Big East tournament championship game for the first time. Jerry Smith added 16 points for the Cardinals (27-5), who snapped out of a shooting funk from beyond the arc by hitting 13 3-pointers in winning their ninth straight game.

Louisville advances to play either No. 18 Syracuse or West Virginia and try for its first conference tournament title since 2005, when the school was still a member of Conference USA.

It was another disappointing tournament for Villanova, which hasn't won consecutive games since 2004 and hasn't reach the tournament championship since 1997.

Dante Cunningham and Corey Fisher scored 14 each to lead Villanova.