LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Marvin Stone scored 16 points in an emotional reunion Saturday as Louisville defeated 14th-ranked Kentucky, 81-63, before a raucous crowd at Freedom Hall.
Stone transferred from Kentucky last year. The 6-10 forward had been dismissed by Coach Tubby Smith for disciplinary reasons in late December before joining Louisville Coach Rick Pitino in a controversial move.
Pitino coached the Kentucky Wildcats to a national title during an eight-year stint before leaving for the NBA in 1997. He returned to the college game last season and lost his first meeting with Kentucky, 82-62, in Lexington.
This time around, Pitino had the crowd on his side. He helped them along with a pregame message that was displayed on the scoreboard, emphasizing the importance of the Freedom Hall fans as a sixth man.
The crowd helped the Cardinals (7-1) rally from a double-digit deficit in the first half before urging them along during a dominant final 20 minutes.
Freshman Francisco Garcia added 12 points and three other players scored in double figures for Louisville, which outscored Kentucky 51-30 in the second half and improved to 6-0 at home.
Keith Bogans scored 14 points for the Wildcats (5-3), who had won three straight in the series. Smith fell to 1-6 lifetime against teams coached by Pitino.