RICK PITINO INTERVIEW
PRESTON KNOWLES INTERVIEW
NEW YORK -- Mike Marra hit six 3-pointers and had 22 points to lead No. 14 Louisville to an 81-56 victory over Marquette on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
The third-seeded Cardinals (24-8) will play second-seeded Notre Dame on Friday night in the semifinals. The fourth-ranked Fighting Irish (26-5) beat Cincinnati 89-51 in the quarterfinals.
Marra was 6 of 10 from 3-point range and led Louisville's 13-for-31 effort from behind the arc (41.9 percent) as the Cardinals won their fifth in six games and moved on to the Big East semis for the third time. They won their only Big East tournament title in 2009.
Jimmy Butler had 14 points for 11th-seeded Marquette (20-14), which beat Providence in the opening round and sixth-seeded West Virginia in the second round to reach the quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles were looking for their third semifinal appearance.
The three games in as many days seemed to take its toll on Marquette, while Louisville was playing for the first time after receiving one of the four double-byes into the quarterfinals.
The other semifinal will have fourth-seeded Syracuse against Connecticut, which beat top-seeded Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Louisville, which entered the game fourth in the conference in 3-point shooting, went 6 of 16 from beyond the arc in the first half with Marra making 3 of 7.
The Cardinals started the second half by asserting themselves inside.
Six-foot-9 junior center Terrence Jennings scored the Cardinals' first three field goals of the second half, the first two on dunks off passes from Marra and Peyton Siva.
Marra than hit three consecutive 3s and Preston Knowles added another to give Louisville a 54-39 lead with 12:26 to play.
The Golden Eagles scored the next five points but Louisville pulled away again, this run started by a 3-pointer from Chris Smith. The Cardinals led by as many as 27 points.
Knowles had 15 points for Louisville and Jennings finished with 12, all in the second half.
Darius Johnson-Odom added 13 points for Marquette, which shot 29.8 percent (17 for 57), including going 3 of 15 from long range.