By Josh Lipka
The University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Program put on a show last night in front of a hometown crowd, walloping the St. John’s Red Storm to a score of 88 to 63.
Despite the team’s bench almost completely injury ridden, the Cardinals pulled away early due to ace 3-point shooting from junior guard Kyle Kuric. Kuric went four for five from the perimeter scoring 14 total points by the end of the 1st half. Kuric subbed in with 14:08 left in the 1st half and was the boost the Cards needed to pull away from the Red Storm. Kuric, who hit his first four 3-point attempts and had 1 steal in the opening half said no matter what, he had to keep shooting.
“It doesn’t matter if you miss your first shot,” said Kuric. “You gotta keep shooting.”
Kuric, who finished the game five for seven from the perimeter and totaling 20 points, wasn’t the only key to the Cards success. After an unfavorable performance last game against Marquette, sophomore guard Peyton Siva showed college basketball he can ball. Siva, who played the exact same minutes in last games win against Marquette, doubled his stats shooting a near perfect game. Competing against a Red Storm roster of 10 seniors, an under classmen Siva put on a veteran performance shooting four for five from the field and two for two from the perimeter. Siva’s top notch performance wasn’t complete until his defensive efforts earned him seven steals and dishing 10 assists.
Junior guard Chris Smith, who totaled nine points in the match, said he has never played with a point guard who was so dominate in a game.
“He [Siva] passed well, he stole the ball well, and he shot the ball well,” said Smith. “What more do you want from a point guard? He killed it.”
Head Coach Rick Pitino, who voted the Red Storm pre-season No. 1 in the Big East, was a bit worried about the team’s injuries not to mention a young squad facing an experienced St. John’s side. After the win, a pleased coach Pitino said he was in still in shock considering the Cardinals injuries.
“We had major problems tonight with injuries,” said coach Pitino. “I’m in a little bit of shock right now with the way we played tonight under tremendous adversity but extremely pleased we can play this well.”
Coach Pitino’s win over St. John was the 800th game in his 25th collegiate season. Coach Pitino has a record of 586 wins and 213 losses and currently has the fifth most victories ever for a coach in his first 25 years.
The Cards are still struggling with injuries but made it obvious the team has players who can step up. The No. 15 Cardinals look to improve their 4 win 1 loss conference record and a 15 win 3 loss overall record Saturday, Jan. 22, 5 p.m., at Providence.