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    Offense Catches Up With Defense, Sort of, and Louisville Basketball Handles FIU 82-57
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    Friday night when the 5th ranked University of Louisville basketball Cardinals (7-0) welcomed Florida International University (5-4) to the KFC Yum! Center it was an end and a beginning. The end of the Cards 6 game home stand and the beginning of FIU’s 8 game road swing. Louisville cruised 82-57. 

    The Panthers are not unfamiliar. It’s the place where Coach Rick Pitino’s son Richard coached for a season in 2012-13. The 2012 Florida International team played Louisville in the Billy Minardi Classic and the Cards have held FIU to 55, 55 and 56 points in their three previous meetings. Consistent, even with Friday’s result.

    Both teams have help opponents under 40 this season. Louisville had done it three times against Jacksonville State, Savannah State and Cleveland State respectively. Florida International did the same to Kennesaw State.

    As expected, each squad came into the game strong on defense. For the Panthers, it can probably be traced to Richard’s influence which, in turn, comes from Rick. It showed for both teams, especially early on for FIU as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead while stifling the Cards.

    David Levitch came out with the starters in place of Terry Rozier which fired up the home crowd. Rosier missed a class and, by team rule, if you miss a class you don’t start. Rozier contributed 12 points off the bench, though. He was one of five Cardinals in double figures.

    The Panther’s head coach, Anthony Evans, said, “We didn’t handle their pressure well once they wrapped it up a bit.” Slowly, then in spurts the Louisville defensive stops created offensive opportunities and after taking the lead the Cards let it grow.

    FIU kept playing pesky ball and making runs, but Louisville was too far ahead thanks, in part, to Anton Gill. He celebrated his birthday by lighting it up from beyond the three point arc and was named 6th Man of the Game. The way he played, that was an easy call.

    Montrezl Harrell continued his dominance, notching another double-double. He also moved into second place on the Louisville all time dunk list. His 4 on the night gave him 157 career slams, pushing him 1 past Dr. Dunkenstein Darrell Griffith. 6 more and he’ll surpass jam leader Pervis Ellison. Expectations are that the record will be obliterated within two games.

    For FIU’s Evans was impressed. He said, “They have a  pro inside. It makes all the difference when they can throw it in to him and he can spin and dunk it.” That would account for Louisville’s 57.1% shooting night.

    Nearly half the Cardinal points came off the bench as they tried to get more people into the offense, but Pitino wanted to see more from his passing game. He wasn’t happy with that aspect of the offense at all.

    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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