Onuaku delivers again, Louisville grinds Pitt
The NCAA tightened up on a lot of rules to get away from the low-scoring grinders that typified so many University of Louisville teams in the recent past. Not enough for Pittsburgh, however, the 59-41 loser at the KFC Yum! Center on Monday.
Were it not for Chinanu Onuaku, Louisville would have been in trouble. The UofL sophomore would score seven points at a time when points were sparse, giving UofL a 20-17 lead at the half.
A game played in slow motion, testing, the late-night patience of the crowd of 21,632 fans, making one wonder whether the NCAA needed to revisit the rules again.
Everyone was playing in slow motion except for Onuaku who always has played at his own pace.
Onuaku did have six turnovers during the game. But what fans will remember is that he was dominant in other other phases of the game. Making six of 13 field goal attempts, four of five granny free throws, 10 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal.
The UofL big man would wind up with 18 points, completing his fourth double-double in the last four games. He would also collect four fouls again, but most of them after the game had been decided.
Chinanu’s new shooting touch arrived at time when Damion Lee and Trey Lewis seemed to be tanking. Lee wound up with 18 points, including eight free throws and some late baskets. Lewis was zero for six from the field, the team’s second leading score being held scoreless.
UofL’s defense couldn’t have shown up at more convenient time, either. The kind of defense that usually shows up around mid-March, propelling those Rick Pitino-style NCAA tournament runs. A certain coach certainly took that Clemson loss really hard.