It’s been a rough time to be a Cardinal fan. Chris Jones, NC State, Syracuse. It looked like things might continue to slip….. In Atlanta. The Cards don’t lose in Atlanta. Down 12 vs. Wichita State. Down 12 vs. Michigan. Down 13 vs. Georgia Tech. All Comeback wins.
Louisville found a way. Without its senior point guard. With a bad shooting night from Montrezl Harrell and a slumping Terry Rozier…..The Cards trailed 41-28 and it felt like the season was lost….it felt like Louisville Basketball had quit.
Then Montrezl Harrell gathered his team in a huddle in the middle of the floor following a 30 second timeout and the Terry Takeover happened. 3 pointer from T3rry…next trip 3 pointer from T3rry. 13 point lead down to 7.
Next trip? Montrezl Harrell lay-up. lead cut to 5. 13 seconds later Wayne Blackshear 3-pointer. BOOM. Lead cut to 2.
But that 11-0 run during a 2:08 stretch didn’t end when Marcus Georges-Hunt got loose on an offensive rebound putback…..it extended when Rozier drained another 3-pointer to pull within 1 point….his 3rd 3-pointer in 3:11.
From there Louisville found itself in a ballgame. The very Pro-UofL crowd in Atlanta carried the Cards through the lull and injected excitement into the run.
Down the wire, a flurry ended the game. Montrezl Harrell missed a sure-fire lay-up and HUSTLE gained possession by Qunetin Snider and got a look for Terry Rozier…then HUSTLE again this time from Wayne Blackshear who drained the tying 3-pointer. 51 seconds later, Terry Rozier got an acrobatic layup to take the lead, and then Marcus Georges-Hunt got a run out lay-up after a Chinanu Onukau missed FT….and then 4 seconds later Rozier took the lead right back with a lay-up of his own.
Pitino said of Rozier’s run out “There was no stopping him.”
There is no stopping Louisville in Atlanta. But the program has been through the ringer in the past week. It’s gotten two one possession wins in a row. Rick Pitino said after the game, “I’m as proud of this team as any I’ve ever coached.”
Maybe it was a bad Georgia Tech team and maybe this is as good as 2014-15 will feel for Louisville this season. But now, moving on from Atlanta it feels like a world where anything can happen with Louisville Basketball.
Louisville faces Florida State in Tallahassee, FL at noon on Saturday.