Been a while since there was so much interest in a University of Louisville men’s basketball game. The Cardinals coming off an unexpected win against Miami three days prior. Have they turned a corner, could they possibly win two games a row?
Sadly the answer is no. No question they are making progress, but they haven’t turned anything around. Visible movement on offense, but Louisville is unable to contain the opposition in an 89-83 loss to North Carolina State. They were, however, competitive and entertaining in front of a crowd of 12,114 at the KFC Yum! Center.
Once again UofL will struggle early, falling behind 12-0 in the opening minutes. They will, however, manage to hold the deficit to only nine points at the intermission. They threatened the Wolfpack numerous times in the second half, but were unable to shut down NC State behind the three-point line. Time after time UofL rallies were snuffed out by Wolfpack 3-pointers.
After a basket by the Wolfpack to open the second half, the Cards went on a 9-0 run to cut the margin to two points. Williams gave UofL a 55-54 lead with 11:54 to go with a 3-pointer. He later hit another 3 to tie the game at 58-all, but NC State answered both of his deep balls with their own 3s.
The big swing came with a 10-2 run by NC State that extended their lead back to 75-64 with under six minutes remaining. The Wolfpack led 83-69 at the 2:18 mark before a furious rally by the Cardinals. UofL scored 11 unanswered points to pull back within 83-80 after a basket by junior forward Brandon Huntley-Hatifield with 52 seconds on the clock.
Guard/forward Mike James led the Cardinals with 20 points, reaching the 20-point mark for the third straight outing. Curtis Williams had 15 points with four 3-pointers, while freshman guard Ty-Laur Johnson added 14 points and five assists. Huntley-Hatfield tallied another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cardinals actually had nine players available after being limited to only seven the last two games.