Despite only leading 40-35 at halftime. The no. 5 Louisville Cardinals were able to open it up in the second half and score a season high 90 points to defeat IUPUI by 30 points on Wednesday night to improve their record to 8-0.
The Cardinals shot 50 percent from the field despite going 3-14 from behind the arc and sported four different players with double-digit points. Senior guard Chris Smith led the Cards with 19 points with 12 of them coming in the second half. While Louisville was struggling with the Jaguars defense in the first half, sophomore center Gorgui Dieng kept the Cards’ lead at an arm’s length with 14 first half points. Dieng finished the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Jaguars had some momentum going in the first half but continued to stall because of turnovers. IUPUI’s bench accounted for 14 of the Jaguars’ 17 turnovers including senior guard Alex Young turning the ball over 8 times himself. Despite their turnovers, IUPUI’s bench scored 43 of their 60 points including 14 from senior guard Stephen Thomas who led the Jaguars in points.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s excitement level had to rise with the return of senior forward Rakeem Buckles who made his season debut after returning from a gruesome knee injury last season. Pitino earlier described his teams’ injury situation as the worst he’s ever seen with Mike Marra gone for the season and Stephen Van Treese out indefinitely with a knee injury. Buckles registered 11 minutes and was to score 3 points and pull down 4 rebounds.
The Cardinals will be in action again on Saturday afternoon when they host Fairleigh Dickinson (1-7) at the KFC Yum! Center. Tipoff is set for 4:00pm 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.