Winning on the road during conference play is difficult all over the country. For the Cards, it looked like it might come easy during the 1st half but the Canes came out hot and quickly closed a 9 point halftime lead to just 3 with 11:36 to play. Miami never got closer than that 3 point margin but giving a home team momentum, especially a quality team like the Hurricanes is dangerous.
The comeback was made possible because no other Cardinal scored except Terry Rozier from the 15:52 mark until the 1:50 mark when Wayne Blackshear drained a jumper. 14 minutes and 2 seconds and the Cardinal offense was just Terry Rozier.
Rozier did finish with 22 points on 8 of 17 shooting and added 6 points. But 11 players saw action Tuesday night and just 4 scored. Montrezl Harrell added 18 points & 9 rebounds and took two very hard falls in each half that left the Cardinal fanbase holding its breath. Chris Jones was outstanding and added 16 points on 5 of 11 shooting and added 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6! steals. Amazing game from Jones.
Wayne Blackshear started out hot and then hit a timely jumper to seal the game finishing with 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and should have been credited with a steal but wasn’t. But outside of Wayne, Chris, Terry, and Montrezl no other Cardinal scored.
The Cards will travel to #3 Virginia on Saturday and will need to get more production from its bench. In post-game Rick Pitino talked about the evolution of his freshman, particularly Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson, and Shaqquan Aaron and at some point that will show up during a game. Will it be Saturday vs. Virginia who has perhaps the best defense in the country? But if Rick Pitino is happy with his team’s development, the fans should be too. It’s all about winning in March and the Cards being 19-3, UofL is just establishing its tournament resume at this point.
The Cards will play Virginia twice and, will host Miami and Notre Dame and will travel to Syracuse. If Louisville can fare well to close the season, they will have the resume and confidence that they need to excel in March. It’s all coming together.