Men’s basketball holds off Omaha 87-78

By on November 17, 2017

By Conner Farrell–

The men’s basketball team held off the Omaha Mavericks 87-78 in a fast paced run-n-gun match-up.

“We played 20 minutes of darn good basketball and we played 20 minutes of embarrassing basketball,” acting head coach David Padgett said.

Junior Ray Spalding led the way for the team with a stat sheet stuffing night finishing with 19 points, a new career high, and 11 rebounds for his first double double of the season. Spalding also registered two assists, two steals, and three blocks.

“(Spalding) was active on the backboard, especially in the first half when he had seven boards in eight minutes,” said Padgett.

Following a slow start in the first half of the season opener against George Mason, the team fared much better scoring 40 of their 87 in the first half of play while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor.

Junior forward Deng Adel paced the Cards through the first half scoring 10 of his game high 21. Adel also chipped in eight boards and four assists while shooting seven for eight from the field.

Senior center Anas Mahmoud protected the paint in a big way in his 11 minutes in the first half. Mahmoud registered five blocks in the half and finished with seven total, which is a new career high. Mahmoud also chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Starting the second half, the Cardinals hit six of their first eight shots. However, the Mavericks were able to match the Cards on the offensive end cutting the lead to eight following a 13 to one run with 14 minutes to play.

With eight minutes left to play, the Cardinals seemed to finally put the Mavericks away pushing the lead to 20.

“When you’re up 20 against a team like this, you just can’t relax,” said Padgett.

Once again the Mavericks held tough cutting the Louisville lead down to seven with five minutes left.

The Cardinal offensive was able to weather the storm following the final media timeout going on a eight to three run with two minutes left.

On the other hand, the Cardinal defense was lackluster allowing 53 points in the second half.

“Defensively we just can’t give up that many points up in a half at home,” said Padgett.

The team shot 46 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Mavericks 53 to 41.

Men’s basketball is back in action Nov. 21 against Southern Illinois at 7 P.M.

You can follow Conner Farrell on Twitter @ConnerFarrell9.

Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal

About Conner Farrell

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