Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Louisville was hoping for a nice bounce-back effort after suffering its first loss of the season last weekend against Duke. Illinois State sure didn't make it easy.
Russ Smith scored 24 points and Peyton Siva battled through foul trouble to add 20, as the fifth-ranked Cardinals escaped with a 69-66 victory over the Redbirds.
Louisville (6-1) trailed for nearly the entire first half, then battled back and survived a pair of potential tying 3-point attempts in the closing seconds.
Tyler Brown scored 25 points and Jackie Carmichael chipped in 20 for Illinois State (5-2), which has lost two straight heartbreakers against power conference teams after opening the season with five straight wins.
The Redbirds dropped a 72-69 overtime decision to Northwestern last Saturday in the final of the South Padre Island Invitational and gave Louisville all it could handle on Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center.