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    Louisville Gets Back In The Win Column, Beating Long Beach State 63-48
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    How a basketball teams comes back from a loss gives you an idea of their character. That’s what the sixth ranked University of Louisville Cardinals (11-1) faced when they went back into action on Tuesday afternoon against Long Beach State at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cards provided an answer in the form of a 63-48 win.

    Still stung by the home loss to Kentucky, how would these Cards respond? Conversely, the 49ers are in the last game of the teeth of their schedule. Since December 10, Long Beach State (5-9) played #25 San Diego State, #10 Texas, #17 St. John’s, Syracuse and Louisville. That’s tough for anyone’s team.

    The unorthodox 4pm tip-off was necessitated due to the 6:30 kick off for the football team in the Belk Bowl. The gridiron Cards would take on Georgia in Charlotte, North Carolina. Louisville sports fans will become intimately familiar with North Carolina this year. January 4, the basketball team will be in Winston-Salem for their first ever ACC conference game against Wake Forest.

    Earlier in the week, Cardinal Coach Rick Pitino hinted at some changes in the line up that had Shaqquan Aaron start in place of Chris Jones and also showed Anas Mahmoud in the middle for Chinanu Onuaku. He shuttled them in and out, but Mahmoud played a significant amount of time and, early on, accounted for all the Cardinal scoring.

    However, those four early points accounted for all his scoring. Pitino remains high on his 7 footer, though, and knows he’s got room to grow. “He’s the best passer, shot blocker, shooter that we have. He’s just very weak.” He knows that will be better as the season and his career wears on.

    As for Jones the coach said, “I didn’t start him because of the flop issue. You can’t fake it.” The flop issue he’s referring to is the one in the UK game that happened without benefit from Wildcat contact.

    The 49ers hung in for most of the first half, bothering Louisville on defense and hitting shots on the other end of the floor. The Cards weren’t frustrated like they were against Kentucky but it did take time to find their rhythm. Whether that was because of the UK loss or the weird start time is anyones guess.

    Louisville’s shooting found it’s eye again in the first half, going 59.1% from the field and 54.5% from the three point arc. That led to a 34-19 halftime lead.

    The shooting would keep it’s pace with the Cards going 51.2% for the game while holding the 49ers to 36%. The teams would be even in rebounding with 28 but the number the coach had to be happy with was assists.

    More than one would be better than they did at Kentucky. The Cards dished 12 so this time around sharing the ball wasn’t a problem.

    Terry Rozier led all scorers again with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Montrezl Harrell had 16 points and Wayne Blackshear, who was sick and throwing up befor the game, tossed in 12.

    Coach Pitino’s assessment: “For 30 minutes, that’s the best basketball we’ve played all year.” 

    That would be the way to answer a loss.

    Photos by: Tim Girton/Louisville.com

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    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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