Louisville's Peyton Siva protects the ball from Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom...

Louisville's Peyton Siva protects the ball from Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom during the second half. (March 8, 2012) Credit: AP

Marquette coach Buzz Williams stared hard at the boxscore of the No. 9 Golden Eagles' 84-71 loss to Louisville in a Big East Tournament quarterfinal Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. There were some numbers he'd never seen in his tenure at the school, specifically 26 turnovers by his team and 26 offensive rebounds by the Cardinals.

Both represented career worsts for Williams, and they gave Louisville a 23-15 edge in points off turnovers and an 18-7 margin in second-chance points.

"It's on the head coach,'' Williams said. "I'm not sure how many points they scored in the half-court. But that's how Louisville plays. They feed off their pressure. I'm not sure they had a better meal all year than they did tonight against us.''

The Cardinals (24-9) advanced to Friday night's semifinal against Notre Dame. Marquette (25-7) goes home to await the NCAA Tournament.

"We just have to clear our heads and wait to see the opponent you're matched with on Sunday,'' Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder said. He spent much of the game in foul trouble and had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles were led by Darius Johnson-Odom with 23 points. Kyle Kuric topped Louisville with 20 points; Peyton Siva added 18 along with eight rebounds and six assists.

The adage holds that basketball is a game of runs, and it was true of the first half as momentum rolled from one end of the floor and back to the other like tidal waves.

Louisville jumped out to a 21-6 lead as Chane Behanan and Siva each had six points and cranked up the tempo. But the Golden Eagles stormed back with a 27-13 run that cut Louisville's lead to 34-33 with 4:07 left. Marquette made 12 of 17 field-goal attempts during that stretch.

Just when it seemed the Eagles would take over, the Cardinals responded with a 16-4 surge before Johnson-Odom, who scored 16 first-half points, hit a three to cut Louisville's halftime lead to 50-40.

"We work on the press every day, but we weren't disciplined enough,'' Johnson-Odom said of the Cardinals' pressure defense. "I didn't think it would be at a high level like that. It caused a lot of tension and stress on us.''

The Cardinals missed their first 11 shots of the second half and saw their lead shrink to four before Kuric made a layup for a 54-48 lead with 13:52 left. Crowder picked up his fourth foul with 12:39 to play, swinging the flow Louisville's way for good as its lead reached a high of 15.