There is life, indeed a beating heart, within this University of Louisville basketball team. Players not throwing in the towel just yet, deciding that they still have much to play for with two games remaining in the regular season.
Despite all of the recent challenges, the UofL program represents one of the best in the nation. The Virginia Tech fan base, which hasn’t seen their team win against Louisville since 1991, was hungry for a win, salivating when the Hokies raced to a 28-18 lead over the Cardinals.
The Hokies were looking formidable at the time, ready to assert dominance, ready to bury the Cardinals. Students in a fever, jumping, laughing, pumping their fists, knowing their time was now. Time for Louisville to throw in the towel, and roll over. Or so they thought.
Fortunately for UofL there are players with roots in the community, have grown up watching Louisville basketball, wanting to play at UofL. They would be Ray Spalding, Quentin Snider and Dwayne Sutton — the best from the 502 area code — not ready to give up on the season.
Snider and Sutton would serve notice that UofL wasn’t going anywhere, scoring eight of their team’s next eight points. The home crowd was stunned, and could only watch as Sutton sank two free throws to give the Cardinals a 32-31 lead.
Spalding, Snider and Sutton would collectively contribute 51 of Louisville’s points, 24 rebounds and eight assists in 75-68 win at Virginia Tech. Sutton, a sophomore thrust into a starting role, would have a career high of 17 points. Snider would wind up with 22 points, including seven 3-pointers.
Spalding, who would score eight straight points at one point in the second half, would have 12 points and seven rebounds.
Deng Adel complementing the 502 crew with one of the best all-around games of his career. Buying into the team game mojo, generously providing an incredible eight assists to his teammates while pulling down nine rebounds and making 10 points.
An impressive win against a good opponent in a hostile environment during an otherwise discouraging week for Louisville basketball. The 502 crew providing some reason for hope when it was sorely needed.