CRAWFORD | Louisville turns in most complete effort, blasts SIU 84-42
The Louisville basketball team turned in its most complete effort to date in beating Southern Illinois 84-42 at the KFC Yum! Center Tuesday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – David Padgett asked for 40 minutes of good basketball. His University of Louisville basketball team gave it to him.
After reviewing the video of many of the individual and team mistakes in a closer-than-expected 87-78 win over Omaha last week, Padgett looked at his players and asked: “Does anybody think I’m being overly critical?”
Suffice it to say that it was a question most were not accustomed to hearing from the head coach in these parts in the past. But hearing no answers in the affirmative, Padgett convinced his players that they were being lax, that they were not executing fundamental elements of the game that they had been schooled in, that they weren’t, in short, playing the game they way they’d been taught.
That changed Tuesday night. The Cardinals were suffocating on defense, and after a bit of a sluggish start warmed to their task on offense. The result was far and away their most complete effort of the season, a 84-42 demolition of Southern Illinois in the KFC Yum! Center.
"We got a full 40 minutes from everybody," Padgett said. "I told them if we get that, good things will happen."
The Cards got 16 points and seven rebounds from Deng Adel, but the most striking stretch came with the game out of reach.
Padgett sent to the court five players who never played for Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino – though all were recruited by him. Jordan Nwora, Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Dwayne Sutton took the court with a 37-point lead with 6:09 left.
They proceed to make seven straight shots and push the lead to 44.
Louisville held SIU to less than 25 percent shooting for the game, including 1 of 19 from three-point range. Some of that can be credited to the switching defenses the Cards played for the first time all season, showing their 2-3 zone in stretches, mixing it with man-to-man and some full-court pressure.
"We've been working on it," Padgett said. "Just doing what we always do."
The Cards shot 58.8 percent in the second half, made 6 of their last 9 three-point tries and dished out 18 assists.
Nwora led Louisville in scoring with 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Perry added 10 points and dished out a team-best seven assists.
The Cards return to action on Friday at 7 p.m. against St. Francis.
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