Kimble more comfortable in new role at Louisville

Coach Chris Mack was mentally preparing his halftime remarks with his team falling farther behind during the first half against Wake Forest, the last place team in the ACC (Cindy Rice Shelton photos)>

One has to conclude that Lamarr Kimble has become comfortable now with his role on the University of Louisville basketball team, following UofL’s hard fought 86-76 win over Wake Forest.

Ryan McMahon makes good on this 3-point attempt and a free throw for a four-point trip during a second half comeback (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Kimble, a graduate transfer who was a co-captain for three seasons and a two-year starter at St. Joseph’s, played a key role in Louisville’s 21st win before a crowd of 15,270 at the KFC Yum! Center.

He would score UofL’s first four points in the second half, sending a signal that the Cardinals weren’t going to roll over. Reducing the deficit to 11 points and changing the momentum of the game. Five minutes later, he was pulling a rebound, throwing a full-length court pass to Jordan Nwora, his teammate making the dunk that would give Louisville the lead.

Jordan Nwora the leading scorer for Louisville with 21 points, including the dunk that capped a comeback in the second half (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

That go-ahead pass to Nwora following a 3-point goal by Ryan McMahon, the player Kimble replaced a few games ago. McMahon was fouled on the play, hitting the free throw for a four-point trip.

Kimble has played with increasing confidence in recent games, affirming the trust Coach Chris Mack has instilled in him. He is beating the college basketball odds, retaining his starting position despite some impressive performances by freshman David Johnson.

Kimble scored a total of 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and was credited with four assists.

Nwora would lead all scorers with 21 points, making five of eight from deep and six of 12 overall. Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and 11 rebounds, McMahon 12 points and Steven Enoch and Malike Williams 11 points apiece. 

Wake Forest survives, deprives Louisville of possible No. 1 seed

The Wake Forest players couldn’t wait until the end of the game to start celebrating, some of them jumping up and down with 10 seconds to go, their fans making their way down to the court.

The 88-81 win over the eighth-ranked University of Louisville obviously a big one, an unexpected triumph for the Demon Deacons.

Deng Adel kept Louisville in the game with his 22 points but still waiting for the Calvary (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Senior night for the eighth-ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, not headed for the NCAA Tournament after the season, nothing to lose, letting it all hang out on a nationally-televised game. You know like they play this way all the time.

The Demon Deacons refusing to live up to their reputation, not rolling over, oblivious to UofL jumping out to an early 14-point lead in the first half. Hitting the circus shots, staying close, waiting for the Cardinals to go cold, whittling the lead to one point at the half. That was all the motivation Wake Forest seemed to need with all of the adrenaline flowing in the 14,500-seat facility.

Not a good road team this particular UofL basketball team, Donovan Mitchell seeming to lose his way after scoring all of his seven points in the first five minutes of the game. Mangok Mathiang credited with only one turnover but rarely able to catch a pass or make an easy shot look impossible. Ray Spalding getting off to a good start but mysteriously pulling a muscle or something, and never the same after that.

Deng Adel and Quentin Snider keeping UofL close with 22 and 15 points, respectively.

Not the best time to go sour, not with Louisville being mentioned prominently as a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Just another motivational factor for Wake Forest, nothing to lose, not much to gain except for a win over a top 10 team.

Watch them storm the court, those delirious Demon Deacon fans.

McKay homer propels Louisville past Wake Forest

Brendan McKay clears the bases. File photo by Cincy Rice Shelton.
Brendan McKay cleared the bases with a three-run home run. File photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.

When Brendan McKay isn’t knocking scorching line drives to opposing infielders, he’s a deadly hitter. Not that he’s predictable, but there’s a noticeable shift when he’s at the plate.

McKay couldn’t have picked a better time to break the routine, sending the first pitch over the right field fence for his fourth home run of the season. The blast scored two runners in front of him, breaking a 3-3 tie, and propelling the University of Louisville to a 9-4 win at Wake Forest.

The UofL sophomore, who had his streak of reaching base safely 37 straight games broken in Thursday’s game, got back on track in the past two games, with three hits on Friday and the four-bagger on Saturday. He’s hitting .338 for the season.

Senior right-hander Kyle Funkhouser giving up a pair of home runs to Wake Forest in the first inning, giving the Demon Deacons a 3-0 jumpstart. The Cardinals would tie the game in the third inning on Danny Rosenbaum’s eighth home run, driving in Blake Tiberi.

The win was Funkhouser’s eighth this season against three losses, raising his all-time program record to 34 wins in his UofL career.

The second regular season in the Atlantic Coast Conference is in the books, with UofL winning the Atlantic Division the first two seasons in teh conference, finishing the current season 22-8 in the conference and 46-10 overall.

Louisville, the second seed behind Miami, will enjoy a first day bye for the ACC tournament, which begins Tuesday at Durham, N.C.

Louisville baseball tops Atlantic Division back to back

No. 1 in the Atlantic Division. Again.

The University of Louisville baseball team finishes the regular season on top after defeating Wake Forest 3-1 Thursday while Florida State was losing 4-2 at home to Miami.

Devon Hairston on a tear. File photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.
Devon Hairston on a tear. File photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.

Devon Hairston providing the hitting, knocking the first pitch to him over the left field wall in the second inning. He would finish the day with two hits, score two runs and drive in two runs. The home run was his third this year and he’s currently batting .370.

Brendan McKay and Zack Burdi supplying the bulk of the pitching.

McKay struck out six batters, gave up six hits but only one run in six innings. He’s 11-2 this season and 20-5 in his collegiate career. Burdi claimed his 10th save of the season, shutting down all three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth.

The Cardinals are guaranteed one of the top two seeds in next week’s ACC Championship tournament, which kicks off Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.


Louisville women’s basketball win streak at 14

Not taking any team for granted, not this University of Louisville women’s basketball team.

UofL defeating Wake Forest 78-54 Sunday before a crowd of 9,673 at the KFC Yum! Center. Fourteenth win in a row, improving to 17-5 overall and 8-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Asia Durr collected 13 of her 18 points in the second half.
Asia Durr collected 13 of her 18 points in the second half.

Wake Forest making the game physical early, hanging around trading baskets with UofL, trailing by only six points at the half.

Jeff Walz wanting his best shooters to take more shots, quit being so unselfish, needing them to take control. Urging them to shoot in the second half. And they would, with Mariya Moore leading all scorers with 26 points. Asia Durr would score 13 of her 18 points in the second half.

Myisha Hines-Allen and Briahanna Jackson added 10 points apiece for the game.

Next up is the University of North Carolina on Thursday at Chapel Hill, followed by a home game against highly-ranked Notre Dame at 2 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday.