Men’s basketball defeats St. Francis in drowsy atmosphere

By on November 24, 2017

By Dalton Ray —

Led by junior Ray Spalding’s 19 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, No. 19 men’s basketball defeated St. Francis 84-72. Spalding exited the second half with an ankle injury, but isn’t expected to miss any time.

The Cardinals dominated the undersized Red Flashes, scoring 40 points in the paint compared to St. Francis’ 20.

Despite the difference in size and talent, St. Francis kept the game close in the first half. After being down 22 in the second half, the Red Flashes cut the lead to eight before the Cardinals pulled away.

Acting head coach David Padgett said the team is 4-0 and that’s what is important. St. Francis’ quickness took some time to adjust to.

“They’re small, they’re quick off the dribble, they get in the lane … it’s tough to keep them in front of you and they do a good job of spacing,” Padgett said.

Padgett said his guards needed to do a better job of rebounding St. Francis’ long shots.

Sophomore VJ King started the game hot, making two of his first three shots. He soon cooled, finishing 3-of-11.

Louisville got up 16-9 with 12:32 in the first half, but missed their next eight shots. St. Francis couldn’t capitalize on the poor shooting, only scoring two points during the stretch.

A 3-pointer from Dwayne Sutton made the Louisville lead 21-13, but five straight made shots from St. Francis tied the game at 26.

Spalding sparked the run after the tie with a put back and block, leading to a 14-6 Louisville run.

U of L closed the half with a 46-35 lead.

In a quiet second half atmosphere, Louisville pushed their lead to 14 in the opening five minutes.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Quentin Snider and a put back from Spalding made the lead 20.

The lead peaked at 22 with 12:32 to play, then St. Francis made their run.

The Red Flash made 6-of-7 shots, including four 3’s, to come within eight points with five to play.

Just as St. Francis heated up, they flamed out down the stretch, going for 2-for-9 to end the game.

Back-to-back 3’s from Adel and freshman Jordan Nwora iced the game for U of L.

Louisville weathered St. Francis’ two runs thanks to help of Adel.

“You want to control the pace of the game, but when they’re hitting 3’s every other possession, you feel that you have to be more urgent,” Adel said. “I think we did a good job of closing it out and staying patient.”

Louisville travels to Purdue for a ACC-Big Ten challenge on Nov. 28 at 8 p.m.

You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.

Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-18) that is technically award winning.Email: [email protected]

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