UofL BASKETBALL | Cards hold off late Purdue run to beat the Boilermakers

11/30/2016 09:55 PM

They led by as many as 18 points in the second half, but when the clock hit zero, it was the #14 University of Louisville basketball team that was happy to have a seven point win, beating the #15 Purdue Boilermakers 71-64. Louisville held that 18 point lead with less than 12 minutes left in the game, but watched it narrow to as little as four points with less than two minutes to play. Ultimately, a Donovan Mitchell jumper and two Quentin Snider free throws were enough to seal the victory.

Cardinal head coach Rick Pitino went to his bench early and often in the win, and it paid off in spades. Ray Spalding, Ryan McMahon, David Levitch, and Anas Mahmoud combined for 28 points off the bench, and were a perfect 12-of-12 from the field. Ray Spalding, the sophomore forward tied senior center Mangok Mathiang with a team-high 11 points, and was one rebound shy of the double-double in 26 minutes of play.

In his Tuesday press conference, Pitino addressed the need to develop depth in the back court. He committed to that philosophy by getting a lot more minutes for graduate guard Tony Hicks. After only logging two minutes over the team’s three game stretch in Atlantis, Hicks played a full 13 minutes, but focused on defense. The former Pennsylvania point-scorer did not attempt a single shot in his time on the court.

Louisville shot 50 percent from the field for the game, they out-rebounded Purdue by one, and dominated the paint over the Boilermakers’ 7-foot-2 center, Isaac Haas. Louisville outscored Purdue 32-18 in the paint, and held the 290 pound Haas to eight points and 2-of-9 shooting.

Sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan led the Boilermakers with a double-double, 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Tonight is the first Louisville win over a ranked opponent this season, and improves their record to 6-1. Their next opponent is Saturday, when the Cardinals travel to Grand Canyon.

The loss drops Purdue to 5-2. They return home for a Saturday night game against Morehead State.


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