By Beau Kilpatrick–
The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals recorded their 101st win in the KFC Yum! Center Monday night, beating William & Mary 91 to 58.
V.J. King led all scorers with 17 points. He was 3-for-3 from beyond the three-point arch and made 7-for-11 from the field. Pitino is confident that his freshman forward will be a great player as he gains experience.
“I think (King) is very aggressive offensively. He’s got a great first step. He’s getting much more confident because of the thousands of shots he’s taking. He’s just a really good basketball player,” coach Rick Pitino said.
Deng Adel had a career night for the Cards. Scoring 12 points in the first half, he ended with a career high of 16 points, five assists and four steals. Adel also knocked down all seven of his free throw attempts.
Mangok Mathiang dominated W&M defensively. He gathered 10 rebounds and added five blocks. Mathiang struggled on his free throws, making one of six.
“I think basketball-wise (Mathiang) is close to a 100 percent but I think conditioning-wise he’s not. He had ten rebounds tonight but he could’ve had 15-16 rebounds tonight,” Pitino said.
Jaylen Johnson is coming off of his best game against Evansville, but his start against W&M was sluggish. Johnson had two points and three rebounds at the half. Johnson got the second half going with a one-handed alley-oop. He finished strong with a total of 13 points and nine rebounds.
Quentin Snider made four 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, his 21st double-figure game.
Donovan Mitchell set a career high with four blocked shots. He also scored nine points, four rebounds and a steal. Late in the second half, Mitchell forced a steal and used his breakaway speed to deliver a monster dunk that erupted the crowd.
Ray Spalding finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one block and a steal before being sent bench early with four fouls.
The second half for the Cardinals showed much more intensity than the first. The first half showed glimpses of electricity, but the second half was a high-octane display on both sides of the ball. Pitino clarified that his squad relies on working the opposition into second-half fatigue as their main strategy for winning.
“We rely on fatiguing our opponents. It’s a 40-minute game. We’re going to be down a lot at the 15-minute mark, we’ll be down a lot at halftime. But it’s not a halftime game,” Pitino said.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal