CRAWFORD | Spalding 'all in,' but Cards B-team falls 79-77 to Puerto Rico juniors
SAN JUAN, P.R. (WDRB) — In the locker room after Tuesday night’s opening games against Puerto Rico, University of Louisville freshman Raymond Spalding told reporters, “It’ll be a lot better tomorrow. Defense, offense . . . I don’t think I was all out there tonight. I’ll be out there tomorrow night.”
In Wednesday’s “B” team game against the Puerto Rico Junior National team, Spalding looked it. The Trinity product had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 steals in a 79-77 loss at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico.
Spalding showed his versatility, scoring around the basket, on put-backs and once, late in the game, he grabbed a defensive rebound, took it the length of the court on the dribble and scored on a soft jumper.
The play of the Trinity High School product was the highlight of a game in which U of L’s reserve guards could get nothing going.
The Cards were outscored 36-9 from three-point range. U of L coaches put Mangok Mathiang and Donovan Mitchell into the preliminary game, hoping to give the young team a bit of a jump start.
Mitchell, who struggled on Tuesday, played more his style of game on Wednesday, going to the basket aggressively and getting to the free-throw line when he couldn’t finish. He wound up with 16 points on 4 of 9 shooting, and went 7-8 from the free-throw line.
The Cards made several runs at the Puerto Rican team, including at the end of the game, when Mitchell found himself with the ball and 6 seconds left. He advanced it up the court but it was deflected before the Cards could get a shot off.
The Cards went just 3-for 20 from three-point range. David Levitch was 0-for-6 from long range and 1-for-12 overall. Nor did the big men besides Spalding provide much offensively. Mathiang went 1-5 from the field, as did Matz Stockman.
Puerto Rico went 12-28 from three-point range (42.9 percent) and got a fantastic game from Benito Santiago Jr., who scored 30 points on 9 of 11 shooting and made all four of his three-point tries.
The Cardinals get a change of venue on Thursday, but no change of opponents, as they play another double-header at the 5,500-seat Ave Santa Rosa in Guaynabo.
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