By Dalton Ray —
Men’s basketball moves to 6-2 with a 71-62 win over Indiana (5-5). The Cardinals didn’t lead in the first half, but didn’t give up the lead in the final 18 minutes.
Junior Deng Adel led U of L with 16 points followed by senior Quentin Snider’s 13. Junior Ray Spalding registered a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Acting head coach David Padgett called the win great for the team.
“The most pleasing that about that win … is that it was a great team win. We had nine, 10 guys step up in very important plays at big times,” Padgett said. “Malik (Williams) comes in and gets us out of an offensive funk (in the first half). Ryan (McMahon) came in and gave us huge minutes, considering he hasn’t played in two months. VJ King probably won the game for us in the second half.”
The Cardinals forced three turnovers in the final minute and didn’t allow a 3-pointer in the second half.
Just like the previous seven games, Louisville failed to get going early.
Louisville started 1-for-8, leading to a 12-2 hole six minutes into the game.
Padgett said his team can’t let poor offense play a role in their defense.
“We missed a couple of easy shots, which seems to be the common theme, in the first half. I still thought our first-shot defense was pretty good,” Padgett said.
Pressure, pressure, leak
The U of L defense forced Indiana late into the shot clock on multiple occasions, just to have the Hoosiers score in the final seconds.
Louisville double-teamed late in the possession and a cutting IU player made U of L pay on three separate possessions.
Biting on pump fakes also plagued the Cards, leading to open lanes to the basket.
The Hoosiers’ seven offensive rebounds in the first half led to 13 second chance points.
Live and die by the three
The Cardinals started 1-for-10 from three, which led to them trailing by 23-13.
In the final 7:45 of the first half, Louisville went 5-for-7 from three. A pair of 3-pointers from freshman Malik Williams made the Indiana half time lead 36-35.
After halftime, Louisville rattled in three of their next five 3-pointers. Adel’s half-opening three gave Louisville their first lead of the game.
Closing out the game
The game stayed within six points for the most of the second half until the final five minutes.
This season, Louisville has struggled to finish teams off by allowing offensive rebounds, forcing quick shots or committing turnovers. Not against Indiana.
The Cardinals didn’t completely erase their demons, but they limited they controllable mistakes that led to both of their losses this year.
Louisville ended the game on a 6-0 run, but only scored four points during a six-minute stretch in the final seven minutes. In that time frame, the Cards held IU to six points.
U of L finished out the game with a mid-ranged jumped from Adel. McMahon forced a turnover on the opposite end of the court, finding redshirt sophomore Dwayne Sutton for the fast break finish.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photos by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal