Battle Continues for Winless Louisville as Cardinals Fall to Cincinnati, 81-62

Battle Continues for Winless Louisville as Cardinals Fall to Cincinnati, 81-62

Another second-half surge by his opponent wiped out the Louisville men’s basketball team on Wednesday, as the Cardinals fell 81-62 in the seventh-place game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

“They shoot 61 or 62 percent from the field in the second half,” said Louisville head coach Kenny Payne. “You don’t beat anyone when a team can shoot that percentage. So hopefully it’s another lesson we’ve learned. We left this tournament 0-3, but hopefully we saw some of the best teams in the country and learned theirs.

“We learned that Arkansas forces rebounds, commands possession and fights every possession. We learned from Texas Tech that you can win as a great defensive team and it’s about your will, not your skill. Tonight we learned that if you get the shooters and raise your hand and contest shooters hard and execute on attack and don’t flip the ball anyone can beat you so i can walk away and doom and gloom but i need to watch this and figure out a way to make this team better and get this team for these young men to go out and win.”

There were 16 substitutions in the first half and the Cardinals trailed only 31-30 at halftime, but Cincinnati (4-3) seized control with an 11-0 run capped by a dunk from Viktor Lakhin to tie the score to 49-35 with 13:12 to play.

The Bearcats used another 7-0 run to take their biggest lead to that point at 63-45 with 8:29 left.

Louisville (0-6) cleared its deficit with a 7-0 run to cut it to 67-57, but Cincinnati answered with back-to-back 3s to end the threat.

“It has to start on the defensive side,” sophomore forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield said. “We need to know our staff. We need to shut down our shooters and be desperate once they put us in scramble situations. We also need to execute offensively. Missing layups around the rim, it started with me. I’m going to have to get there get better at it. But just really do the little things to win and get by. We didn’t do that tonight. We do it every now and then, but we have to do it during the game.” 40 minutes. But we’re going to get better at that.”

The Cardinals’ final lead came at 30–28 on a layup by senior guard El Ellis with five seconds left in the first half. Cincinnati guard David DeJulius sprinted down and ramped up the horn to give the Bearcats a lead they never relinquished.

DeJulius finished with a game-high 26 points, including six 3-pointers.

The game was the 100th in the series between the longtime conference rivals, more than Louisville has played against any other opponent.

Huntley-Hatfield led four UofL players in double digits with 15 points.

Ellis added 13 points and six assists, while junior forward JJ Traynor and freshman forward Kamari Lands scored 10 points each.

The Cardinals return home to face their third-ranked opponent in four games against No. 23/25 Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by Continental Tire at 7pm ET Tuesday at the KFC Yum! Centre. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

“I’m not worried about the mess outside,” Payne said. “But real leadership is how you deal with adversity. Real leadership is being an example to players. And I say to every player on this team, ‘Don’t panic.’ Don’t panic until you see me panic And I don’t panic I’m encouraged I keep pushing and we keep working harder We’re going to work harder on conditioning will work harder on defense and every day we will keep on fighting.

“I know they know I believe in them. I love them. I know they know that. And they love me. That gives me great joy to know that despite all this adversity we are still close. . We stuck together It’s disappointing because we made great game plans which is all fine until as they say in boxing until you get punched in the mouth by Mike Tyson Well we got beat up the mouth. We need to dust off and keep fighting.”

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