By Conner Farrell–
On the heels of their first home defeat of the season, the men’s basketball team used a big second half to bounce back with a 86-60 rout of Siena.
“Pleased with the win, obviously there’s things we need to improve on, but nevertheless pleased with the win,” said acting head coach David Padgett
Senior Anas Mahmoud lead the way with a career night. The center logged a game-high 17 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks. Both blocks and rebounds were new career-highs.
The Cards looked to bury the Saints quickly as they held an eight-point lead early.
The script flipped quickly as a pair of runs brought Siena back.
A 7-0 trimmed the Cardinal lead to two. Soon after, a 10-0 run secured a 31-28 Saints’ lead with four minutes to play in the half.
Jordan Nwora’s 3-pointer tied the game at 31, ending the game’s nearly six-minute scoring drought.
Louisville led 39-36 at halftime.
The Cards spent the first 10 minutes of the second half on a much better pace on both ends of the floor.
“Our defensive lineup in there kind of got us going, we got some deflections,” Padgett said.
A major difference between the two halves came on the offensive side of the ball. Much of the first half, the Cards looked to push the pace and play more of perimeter oriented game. While in the second, the ball found the post more often and resulted in more high percentage shots.
“Something we didn’t do a good job against Seton Hall was to get the ball inside, to Ray (Spalding) or Anas posting up or getting it inside off the bounce and obviously we did a much better job of that,” Padgett said.
This change in offensive approach resulted in a 18-0 run by the Cards over the course of six minutes in the second half.
The closing 10 minutes of the half featured the Cards stifling the Siena offense to only six made shots from the floor.
The Cards outrebounded Siena 43-39 and forced the Saints into 21 turnovers.
The team is back in action at the Yum! Saturday, Dec. 9 against Indiana at 2 p.m.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal