Men’s basketball overcomes poor shooting to upend No. 7 Duke

By on January 14, 2017

By Dalton Ray–

Anas Mahmoud’s first career double-double helped No. 14 Louisville beat seventh-ranked Duke for their third ACC win. Louisville shot 58.6 percent in the second half, leading to the 78-69 win.

Coach Rick Pitino said his defense led the charge in the second half.

“We had 25 pass deflections in the second half, which is not easy to do against a good passing team. We created 18 turnover and only committed 11 ourselves. This was a big game for us. Tremendous job of defending the three, getting pass deflections and forcing turnovers,” Pitino said.

In the opening five minutes, Louisville shot 2-of-7 from the field while Duke committed three turnovers.

The Blue Devil’s 2-3 zone forced Louisville to shoot over the top of Duke’s length. Offensively, Duke used Louisville’s scheme against them. Duke’s motions and cuts caused confusion for the switching Louisville defense, leaving players open on several occasions.

Through 13 minutes, Louisville’s three leading scorers started 2-for-11 from the field. Three of U of L’s six made shots were alley-oops. Duke held the lead for most of the first half.

The Cardinals clawed back into the game during a 90 second stretch in the final five minutes of the half, which included eight fouls.

After shooting 6-of-22, the Cards finished the half shooting 5-for-8, including hitting 3-of-4 threes. Mahmoud carried the Cardinals in the first half, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds and a block.

The beginning of the second half, Louisville’s defense created offense, getting two steals to start a 6-0 run.

Grayson Allen was booed every time he touched the ball, but he didn’t let that affect his game. Allen made tough shots over Louisville’s bigs in the paint and kept Duke afloat. He finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.

Donovan Mitchell exited the game in the second half with an ankle injury, but returned and carried the weight for U of L’s offense. A fast break lay-up and two big threes gave Louisville boost they needed to keep their lead.

After their lead was cut to to seven with just over a minute left, Louisville turned to their defense to finish the game. A strong defensive possession forced Allen to miss his shot at the rim.

Four Cardinals scored in double-digits, led by Mahmoud’s 17. Mitchell and Snider combined for 28 points and knocked down six threes.

U of L finished the game shooting 7-of-13 from three after starting 0-for-6. Duke committed 18 turnovers, allowing Louisville to get 13 points off turnovers. Pitino said he hasn’t seen this kind of defense from his team this year.

“We played intelligent defense the entire game, which we haven’t done. We didn’t back up,” Pitino said. “We knew they were going to beat us off the bounce and we wanted to switch.”

Photos by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal

Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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