LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Jerry Smith scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half Saturday and seventh-ranked Louisville hung on to top Big East Conference foe West Virginia, 69-63.
Led by Smith's output, Louisville built a 45-25 halftime advantage, but after Andre McGee's three-pointer put Louisville up, 53-35, with 12:40 to play, Da'Sean Butler started a strong WVU rally with a trey, cutting its deficit to 53-38.
A free throw by Kevin Jones trimmed Louisville's lead to 63-59 lead with 2:16 remaining, but the winners held on from that point.
Terrence Jennings scored a career-high 13 points with two rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots.
Both Samardo Samuels and Terrence Williams scored eight points, with Williams adding nine rebounds and four assists for the Cardinals (17-3, 8-0), who have a nine-game winning streak.
Butler led West Virginia with 23 points and eight rebounds.
Alex Ruoff scored 16 points while Devin Ebanks added 14 points and six rebounds for the Mountaineers (15-6, 4-4), who have lost two of three.