It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. That was the theme of tonight’s game again the visiting Omaha Mavericks. Louisville led Omaha 40 – 25 at halftime, but their defense was soft in the second half as they gave up 53 points on wide open threes and easy shots at the basket. David Padgett’s quote was a little stronger, “We’re 2-0 and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. We played 20 minutes of pretty darn good basketball and we played 20 minutes of embarrassing basketball. To give up 53 points to a team in one half, especially at home, is just unacceptable.”
Deng Adel once again led the Cards in scoring with 21 points. He pitched in eight rebounds and dished out four assists. However, it was Ray Spalding and Dwayne Sutton who provided the spark the Cards needed. Spalding played one of his best games as a Cardinal scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He played a complete game with two assists, two steals, and three blocks.
Sutton provided a huge lift off of the bench. He scored only three points, but scoring is not the only thing. He grabbed 10 rebounds and provided a huge lift defensively for the Cards. Padgett was asked why he went with Sutton at the end of the game, “I just wanted us to go with the most, or at least what I thought was the most elite five on the floor. Dwayne did a good job of being active, which he always does. I didn’t realize he had 10 rebounds, but he’s just active. He can play multiple positions, he can guard multiple guys, he has got probably the most urgency on the defensive end out of anyone right now or at least tonight he did.”
Freshman Darius Perry had his second straight strong game with nine points and two steals. He hit all five of his free throws and is now 13 – 13 in his first two games from the line.
Louisville improves to 2 – 0 on the season while Omaha falls to 0 – 4.
The Cards return to the Yum Center on Tuesday evening to face Southern Illinois.