Apparently no. 1 Louisville (16-1) didn’t know their game against Connecticut (12-4) started until the final twenty minutes. Luckily for the Cardinals, the Huskies didn’t realize that the game continued after the first twenty minutes and the Cardinals ultimately prevailed, 73-58.
The first part of the game couldn’t have gone worse for Louisville as point guard Peyton Siva accumulated two fouls in the first four minutes and didn’t return for the remainder of the half. With Siva on the bench, junior guard Russ Smith single-handedly kept the Cardinals in the game by scoring 15 of the team’s 28 first half points as Louisville trailed Connecticut by six at the break.
Once the second half started and Siva returned to the game however, the tables turned dramatically. The Cardinals turned the game into a track meet, went on a 17-3 run and never looked back. In the first half, Louisville only had two assists but when the final buzzer sounded, the Cardinals accounted for 13 assists and improved their shooting percentage from 40 to 50.
Smith led Louisville with 23 points while Chane Behanan registered 16 and Siva tallied 11. Center Gorgui Dieng only scored 6 points but finished the game with 16 rebounds.
While the Cardinals soared in the second half, the Huskies crashed and burned. Junior Shabazz Napier started the game on fire; scoring 10 points in the first nine minutes but went completely cold as the game progressed and managed just two more points before the game ended. Freshman guard Omar Calhoun led the Huskies with 20 points while Ryan Boatright scored 11 points with 6 assists.
The win will allow the Cardinals to retain their no. 1 ranking as they prepare for big conference showdown at home against no. 6 Syracuse (16-1) this Saturday at 4pm.
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.