Same old story for this University of Louisville  basketball team. Hang around for a while until the roof caves in. Louisville playing in spurts, predictably caving to Kentucky 86-63.

Kentucky (9-4) didn’t play any where close to the same as they did in a loss to Missouri, Wednesday. The Cats looked more like the team they were supposed to be like in the preseason ratings.

El Ellis led the Cards with 23 points on seven of 16 shots from the field but whir just one of eight thress. He was eight of 10 at the free throw line and had five steals. Kentucky held the Cards to 22 of 47, 44 percent field goal shooting which included two of 13 threes.

“I’m looking for effort. I’m not affected by what the score was in the second half,” said UofL Coach Kenny Payne. “We get it to within eight points then five of the next eight possessions are turnovers. That’s what we have got to eliminate.”

When it came to defending Kentucky, Louisville switched between man-to-man and zone. It was effective in rare instances. But Kentucky still shot 60 percent from the field.

Louisville (2-12) played ok for about 30 minutes. The Cards cut a 17-point lead to 56-44 with 11:54. But that was the beginning of the end. Kentucky went on to lead 80-54 and that was the game.

“We have to continue to get better,” said Payne. “By no means am I happy. We have to get other teams on their heels. Play more aggressively. They got us on our heels.”

*    *    *

The CBS broadcast featured former coaches Jay Wright of Villanova and Bill Rafferty. Both had some interesting takes.

“Kenny has found something here with this lineup. Hatfield playing the five with James and Lands,” said Wright.

Raffery wasn’t not as positive. “They are long and they should defend better. They need to run the floor harder.”

Payne said he will continue to work with team and iron out the lapses. “I know I’m going to enforce my will and keep pushing, asking for more. I just know I’ve been around a lot of winning basketball. If I could only get these kids earlier.”

Still not giving in to the growing chorus of doubters. Ever.

“I know we are going to shock some people,” he added. “I know that. I can see that. I know that better than anybody. I want to see fight from everybody. I wish we could eliminate some of those turnovers.”

Tuesday would be a good time to start when UofL will host Syracuse (8-5)  at 7 p.m.

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By Ed Peak

Ed Peak has covered UofL sports since 1973, as a student reporter, as a correspondent for the Courier-Journal, a freelancer for the Associated Press and United Press International, as well as ScoreCard, Fox Sports and CBS radio.

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