INDIANAPOLIS — When David Rivers stopped worrying about scoring, his shots started falling. The Notre Dame senior had a career-high 32 points Saturday as the Irish upset 14th-ranked Louisville, 69-54, in the first game of the Hoosier Dome doubleheader.
Unlike Tuesday night, when he repeatedly shot hurried three-pointers in a 76-59 loss at Indiana, Rivers quickly showed why the Irish game plan was to go inside against the Cardinals.
"If David is in control, to create, then he's not worrying about scoring," Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said.
"We wanted to establish the tempo and take it to them against the press. The other night, when David was taking the threes, that took away his creativity.
"After we lost, all we did was look at game films. . . . Mentally, we were in this game (against Louisville)," Phelps said. "We jumped out, stayed in control and didn't lose our composure."
Rivers had 13 points during a 19-4 first-half streak that broke the game open.
"Even though we didn't play well (at Indiana), that gave us confidence," Rivers said, "because we were able to play with them at certain points.
"We kept that in mind today, and just went out and executed."
Louisville Coach Denny Crum said he was "very disappointed in our play."
"Give Notre Dame credit. They did a good job controlling the tempo. We couldn't get on track offensively, even when we got good shots. I don't know why."
The Cardinals (0-1) missed all 14 three-point shots they attempted.
"If we had hit a few of those three-pointers, we would have had a chance to win. I didn't think we'd be that bad. I don't know if it was depth perception or tension or pressure."
Notre Dame (1-1) tried only four three-pointers and hit two--both by Rivers.
"Rivers played so well," Crum said. "He's a fine player. We helped him with our inexperience in guards. He's the senior, and we couldn't contain him well."
Louisville was led by junior Pervis Ellison with 23 points.