By Dalton Ray —
Playing in the Gotham Classic, men’s basketball beat Memphis 81-72 in an up-and-down battle in Madison Square Garden. Allowing the Tigers to make the lead four with eight minutes to play, Louisville used a 9-0 run down the stretch to separate themselves.
The Cardinals move to 8-2 and are on a four-game winning streak. Senior Quentin Snider led U of L in scoring in the neutral-site win with 19 and added five assists.
Junior Deng Adel didn’t score from inside the 3-point line (0-for-6), but made 5-of-8 from deep for 15 points. Louisville used key plays down the stretch from sophomore VJ King, who finished with 17 points.
Snider scored 10 points in the opening eight minutes, leading to a 15-12 lead. Two minutes later, Louisville used an 8-0 run to make their lead 28-19.
Memphis answered with an 11-2 run, tying the game at 30 on Kareem Brewton Jr’s 3-pointer.
Threes from Adel and King gave Louisville momentum in the final minutes, but Memphis tied the game at 38 with a posterizing alley-oop from Jimario Rivers.
Memphis started the second half with taking the lead at 40-38, their first lead since 17:48 in the first half. That lead lasted 54 seconds and was their last of the game.
A pair of 3-pointers from Adel put the Cards up eight three minutes into the half. The lead soon grew to 13, the biggest of the game.
The Cardinals then missed 10 of their next 11 shots, letting their lead to shrink to four points at the 8:44 mark.
Adel ended the cold spell by nailing a three, his fifth of the game.
Trailing 63-59, Memphis missed a pair of tight-contested shots in the paint and Snider answered on the other end with a jumper.
The Tigers missed five straight shots and committed a turnover, opening a window for the Cardinals to close. In that window, Louisville ripped off a 9-0 run.
The Cardinals erased 11 shots with nine coming from senior Anas Mahmoud and junior Ray Spalding. Spalding also added 12 points and eight rebounds.
U of L made 14-of-25 from three, their most this season.
The Cards take on Albany at home on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal