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    Harrell Ejected, Louisville Basketball Still Tops WKU 76-67
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    On Saturday the fourth ranked University of Louisville basketball Cardinals (10-0) traveled down the road to Bowling Green to E. A. Diddle Arena to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-5). It wouldn’t be easy and the top star got thrown out of the game but the Cards found a way win 76-67.

    With :39 to go In the first half, Montrezl Harrell dove for a loose ball and DJ Clayton put a hand on his face as he attempted to get up. When he tried to get out of the pile, the crowd thought he came up swinging.

    Replays showed that he did not, even though he looked like he wanted to. In fact, freshman Anas Mahmoud pulled him away from the scrum.

    Harrell got tossed anyway with a flagrant foul call. Cardinal coach Rick Pitino got a technical foul as did Western’s coach Ray Harper who started jawing for some reason. Clayton, who started the altercation, got to stay. The half ended with the Cards up 29-24.

    The All-American will also be out for Tuesday’s Cal State Northridge game back home at the KFC Yum! Center.

    In the second half, Western Kentucky tried to start more drama, but with no ejections. There were two technicals called, on each team, so they traded free throws.

    The Toppers have a rich history of basketball but are usually the third Kentucky team you think about. When you have the likes of Louisville and Kentucky also playing in the state, that’s going to happen. WKU has gotten wins in the past. In fact, the series is now 39-39 with the Cards winning the last 6 games.

    Louisville opened the game as flat on defense as the last game against UNC Wilmington and Coach Pitino called a quick timeout when Western went up 7-4. WKUs George Fant was the Toppers main weapon and they kept trying to find ways of getting him the ball.

    The thing that bothered the Cardinal coaching staff the most was that good long-range shooters were open. Rather than waiting until halftime to make the adjustments, he did it in the first 5 minutes. The Cards were cold from the field but it wasn’t the defenders that bothered them. They just couldn’t get it to fall.

    On the other hand, the Hilltoppers had cold shooting, too, but that was caused by the Cardinal defense, when they played it the way the coach drew it up, which they did more of after the early timeout. 26.7% shooting in the first half won’t get it done against the Cards.

    Fant got an early hook when he committed 2 fouls and Louisville turned up the pressure on both sides of the ball. And for seven minutes, Louisville held WKU to zero points. When they finally knocked down a three they ended an 11-0 Cardinal run.

    The half ended with the Cards up 29-24.

    Coming out in the second half, Louisville had to tinker with the line up and traded Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang at forward with Mahmoud in the middle.

    To compensate, Western went inside more assuming that Louisville would be softer in the paint without Harrell. What they got instead was disappointed as the Cards continued to be tough in the lane without committing too many fouls.

    Fouls however were another aspect of the story for WKU. Their fatigue caused them to commit enough fouls to put Louisville in the bonus three and a half minutes into the second half. And the Cards knocked down their free throws.

    The three point line kept Western close. Whenever Louisville threatened to break away, the Hilltoppers nailed a triple.

    Meanwhile, when Louisville needed points, Terry Rozier was happy to oblige with a career high 32.

    Photo by: Tim Girton/Louisville.com

    Tim Girton's picture

    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at Louisville.com and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

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