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    Louisville Basketball Takes Jacksonville State to the Woodshed With an 88-39 Dru
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    Rick Pitino’s University of Louisville baskeball Cardinals (2-0) returned the mainland America to play their first game in the Global Sports Showcase against Jacksonville State (0-2) Monday night. Trouble wasn’t expected and it wasn’t found either. The Cards took it home handily 88-39.

    The Global Sports Showcase is organized by a sports management company and the it includes the Cardinals and the Gamecocks as well as Marshall, Savannah State and Appalachian State. Marshall and Savannah State are next in line to be introduced to Montrezl Harrell and crew.

    The temperature outside at tip off was 25 degrees; quite the system shock. When the Cards beat Richard Pitino’s Minnesota team last weekend, the heat was oppressive inside the hanger at US Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico. A comfy 72 inside the KFC Yum! Center had to be a welcome change despite the chill of the ride over.

    It was also the first ever meeting between the Cards and Jacksonville State with Louisville coming in on a high note. Over the last four years, UofL has more victories than any other team (97). And Coach Pitino came into the game only four wins away from the milestone of 700 victories. To further stack the deck against the Gamecocks, Louisville has won their last 13 home openers.

    Harrell played like the breakout star that he is but he was held without a three pointer this game. It seems strange to note that he didn’t hit a three considering he’s a power player, but, as demonstrated in Puerto Rico, he’s added some finesse to his game.

    Speaking of Puerto Rico, Wayne Blackshear had a better night than when he was on the island. His accuracy was better and he kept himself out of foul trouble. For that matter, Louisville played its pressing full court defense all game and no one had more than 2 fouls.

    That was made easier because the Cards were able to go deep into their bench against the overmatched Gamecocks. Pitino managed to get 15 players into the game with a few like Anas Mahmoud, Matz Stockman and Dillon Avare managing to get some points in limited action.

    All the starters ended up in double figures. Harrell finished with 15 before he got an extended rest. Terry Rozier had 13. Chinanu  Onuaku and Wayne Blackshear each scored 12 and point guard Chris Jones put in 10.

    The twin towers of Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang each pulled down 10 rebounds. With each man checking in at 6’10” and a bench that has 2 young seven footers, the front line could be formidable when they get some experience.

    The home fans, who could have easily packed it in early stayed engaged as they waited for reserves to score. David Levitch was their clear favorite but Mahmoud was a close second.

    The stat line shows the obvious. Louisville outscore the Gamecocks 48-12 in the paint and had a 31-8 edge in points off turnovers. Add 26 points off the bench and it was a balanced Cardinal scoring attack. And rebounds, a point of emphasis considering how the past few teams have played was a significant advantage. The Cards and 30 offensive and 30 defensive rebounds. Jacksonville State could only manage 26 overall.

    The Cards go back into action at home against Marshall Friday at 9pm.

    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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