After doing what UK could not and beating Evansville, the Louisville Cardinals wrap up the Wade Houston Tip-off Classic against Seton Hall.
The Cardiac Cards showed up today, narrowly beating the Pirates 71-70.
The two teams last met two years ago, with the Cards beating the Pirates 70-65.
Louisville could not have asked for a better opening game against Evansville with four players scoring in double-figures and grad transfer Carlik Jones almost got a triple-double.
Seton Hall was playing in their season debut, and had only three practices to prepare as they dealing with a recent outbreak of COVID in the program.
The squads played pretty evenly in the first half, each getting small leads before the other team battled back.
Carlik Jones scored 11 points in the first half while grabbing six rebounds and three assists.
In the second half, Louisville slowly but surely gained a lead. The Cards were 11-points ahead at one point in the second, but the Pirates did not give up.
They battled back to tie it up and even regain the lead in the final minutes as the game came down to the wire.
The teams swapped leads as the game wound down, with Louisville up by one with a minute to go.
Like so many games in recent Louisville history, it was an action-packed minute. But it was a minute the Cards ultimately won thanks to freshman forward JJ Traynor.
It didn’t start well for Traynor. He fouled a Seton Hall player which led to them hitting two free throws and retaking the lead.
Traynor would not be discouraged, however. On the next Louisville possession he would get his own rebound and put it back in to regain a one-point lead. Traynor was then fouled at the other end, sinking his two free-throws to make the score 71-68.
With barely a second left, Quinn Slazinski was called for a questionable foul against a Seton Hall three-point shooter, giving the Pirates a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime if they could make all three shots.
The first two were made, but the last one rimmed out and the Cards went on to take the victory.
One of the key players out for Louisville is big man Malik Williams, who was injured in the preseason and may miss several more weeks. His loss was palpable as the Cards were out rebounded 43-41. This included 16 Seton Hall offensive rebounds which they converted into a lot of points.
And while the Pirates had almost as many, Louisville had 21 fouls. Something which may come back to bite them if not corrected.
Carlik Jones once again led the way, earning a double-double with a team-leading 18 points and 11 rebounds. He also had six assists.
Dre Davis, Jae’lyn Withers and Quinn Slazinski also scored in double figures.
The Cards will try to make it three wins in a row as they host Prairie View on November 29.<