If fast-paced and sloppy basketball with turnovers galore is your flavor of choice, you didn’t need to look anything further than Piscataway, New Jersey on Tuesday night. The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 55-37 in a game that had nearly 30 total turnovers. The Cards jumped on the Knights early (so to speak) with a 7-0 lead that last until the 15:00 minute mark in the first half. Louisville extended their lead to 20-6 halfway through the first half by putting on a clinic from beyond the arc. The Cards shot 6-9 from 3-point land to start the game before cooling off dramatically and ending up 11-29 for the game. The Cards were helped out by an abysmal first half shooting performance by Rutgers. The Knights shot just over 30% from the field in the first 20 minutes and found themselves down 33-19 at halftime.
Rutgers came out strong in the second half, at one point cutting the lead to a mere 9 points before Louisville went on a late 11-2 run to seal the deal.
Preston Knowles was the leading scorer for the Cardinals with 14 points while adding 8 rebounds and 5 steals. Knowles picked up the slack for Peyton Siva who was held scoreless before picking up a basket in garbage time in the second half. Despite Siva’s lack of scoring, he was effective handling the ball and locking down his counterparts on defense.
Guard play was key for the Cardinals on Tuesday night in part because of the lack of production of the inside game. Rutgers all but phased out the Louisville big men, holding all forwards and centers to 12 total points. Terrence Jennings tallied 8 points for Louisville but really contributed on the defensive side of the ball, collecting 5 blocks.
Ultimately it was the Cardinals defense that carried them to victory Tuesday. Their mixing of full-court and half-court defenses caused 18 Rutgers turnovers and held the Knights to 13 total field goals.
The Cardinals biggest game of the year is next on the schedule when they host #4 Pittsburgh on Sunday at 2:00pm EST.
About the Author
Written by John Buffone
John was born in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. He attended Clarion University and received a degree in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. He currently hosts "The Sports Zone with John Buffone" on AM 1380 WTYM in Kittanning, PA. John is also a sports columnist for the Kittanning Paper and a contributor to Examiner.com, and CatholicSportsJournal.com.