College Basketball – Louisville Struggles, But Hangs On To Defeat Kentucky Wesleyan 77 – 68

UL MascotThe exhibition season allows teams to get a couple of games in that don’t count against the season’s record, but allow the team and coaching staff to see what they have to work with.  It has so far been a mixed bag for the Cardinals.
There were some good things that happened in tonight’s game, but there were plenty of things to work on as noted by Rick Pitino, “The good thing about these games is that I am learning a lot about our basketball team and what we need to work on and this is a very inexperienced basketball team that has learned an awful lot from these two exhibition games.  We lost our man a lot tonight on defense and we really didn’t, we haven’t worked on our press and we really didn’t get any offense going until we started pressing which is a good indicator for me of what we have to do going into the Samford game.  So I am learning a lot about the guys on the team and it’s going to take some time for this basketball team to gel because they are all new to each other.  There are some good things and there are some things we need a lot of work on.  Overall it wasn’t as good a performance as Bellarmine, but we did some decent things in the press.”

Most importantly is the Cardinals got the win by a score of 77 – 68 after trailing by six with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half.  U of L would go on a run to end the half and lead 38 – 29.

Damion Lee led the Cardinals with 19 points, but made only six of his 17 shots.  He hit only one of his seven three point attempts.

Chinanu Onuaku once again struggled with fouls.  He fouled out after playing only 16 minutes.  He did finish with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 block shots.  Pitino explained Onuaku’s foul troubles, “He is not moving his feet and he gets tired quickly and that’s when some bad things happen.

Mangok Mathiang showed his strong presence inside with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 2 steals.

Louisville led by as many as 18 late in the game and had to hold off a furious rally by the Panthers.  The Panthers cut the lead to six, but Quentin Snider’s three with 27 seconds left sealed the deal.  Snider scored six points and dished out 4 assists.

The Cardinals play their first regular season game Friday night at 7:00 against the Samford Bulldogs.