By Sam Draut–
The question over the past week was if Louisville could continue to play dominant defense, but the Cardinals used a frenetic pace in a dominant 84-65 win over Florida State.
Quentin Snider scored 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field as Louisville (15-3 overall, 4-1 in the ACC) dismantled the Seminoles in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
“I don’t know what was better, offense or defense,” coach Rick Pitino said. “Our guys rose to the occasion.”
Florida State (12-6 overall, 2-4 in the ACC) came within one possession of tying the game with 11:41 in the first half, trailing 15-12. Louisville responded with a game-altering sequence that rattled the Seminoles inside of the KFC YUM! Center.
Donovan Mitchell followed up a Damion Lee missed three-pointer with an emphatic put-back dunk. A possession later, after Seminole guard Terance Mann turned the ball over, Lee hit a three-pointer from the top of the key, giving Louisville a 27-15 with 5:29 left in the first half.
The freshman’s dunk sent the crowd into a frenzy and the Cardinals were sparked by the big play.
“I love being that X-factor,” Mitchell said. “That is my role on this team.”
Mitchell said he had been waiting for a crowd-rocking dunk since he arrived at U of L. He finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
The Cardinals went into halftime leading 41-27 and extended their lead to 18 points three-and-a-half minutes into the second half.
Chinanu Onuaku registered his fifth-consecutive double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
For the second consecutive game, Pitino liked the way his team played defensively. Louisville held Florida State under 35-percent shooting from the field for a majority of the game, but the Seminoles made 6 of 8 shots in the final four minutes and ended the shooting 25 of 59 from the field.
Louisville had nine steals and forced 16 turnovers, scoring 23 points off the turnovers.
Damion Lee struggled shooting from the field, going 5 of 16 for 14 points, but fellow fifth-year graduate transfer Trey Lewis bounced back from his scoreless performance last Thursday.
Lewis made all three of his field goal attempts, finishing with six points and five assists.
“I have been in the gym working,” Lewis said. “I am playing with a lot of guys who have confidence in me.”