By Matthew Mueller

The men’s basketball team took on Florida State (8-17, 6-8 ACC) on February 4th at home.  The contest finished in gut-wrenching fashion, for a fanbase that was high off their latest 68-58 win against Georgia Tech (9-15, 2-12 ACC). 

Way out of sync

During the encounter with FSU, Louisville (3-21, 1-12 ACC) took the floor and had some rough patches at the start of the first. It felt like the defense wasn’t even there, allowing Florida State to put up 45 points in the first half alone. 

FSU’s Cameron Corhen played a big part in that scoring, shooting 58% from the field with 16 points. Matthew Cleveland added to that by crashing the board with 10 rebounds.

It felt like the team wasn’t even working together, and were all just out of sync with one another. Yet, the team had only a nine-point deficit at the halfway point. 

The second half started out much like the rest of the game. However, the team finally showed some fight.

The Cards eventually came back from a 20-point deficit, but in the end, the team wasn’t able to close the three-point gap in the final half and lost 78 – 81. This team looked much better, however, despite the loss, the bench was more active and was a vital part of the game and wanted to compete. 

What worked this time

El Ellis again led the team in scoring, dropping a game-high 22 points along with seven assists. Freshman Kamari Lands was another bright spot, coming off the bench to add along 15 points on 6-10 shooting. 

The issue with this team all season has been the ability to fight back after going down 8 to 10 points. We normally see the team give up all effort and allow the opposing team to push that lead even farther ahead. 

This game was a different story.  The team worked hard to get back and eventually had a shot to win all the way down to the final buzzer.

This should hopefully be something we expect out of the team head Coach Kenny Payne produces for next year’s season.

File Photo // Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal //