Louisville was able to scare me and many others the first day of March Madness, but today, they gave me a lot of hope going into the rest of the Tournament. Louisville was matched up against 5th seeded St. Louis and Louisville was able to show their dominance right from the tip.
Louisville jumped out to an early lead of 23-12, and finished off the half with the score of 25-16. Louisville's defense was the main factor in the first half, as they held St. Louis to only 16 points and 6 of 21 shooting!
In the second half, St. Louis was able to flip the switch at the beginning. Louisville started the second half with 0 for 10 shooting, and only 2 points through the first 7 minutes of the second half. St. Louis had been able to cut the lead, and actually take the lead with 14:25 minutes left in the second half!
However, Louisville's leader, Russ Smith, got Louisville back on track. Russ Smith got the lead back for the Cardinals with 14:05 left and kept the lead the rest of the 2nd half.
Give St. Louis credit as they portrayed perseverance and stayed with Louisville until around the 10 minute mark. At the ten minute mark, St. Louis' shooting struggles began. St. Louis was not able to score for 5 straight minutes, and Louisville's consistent offense gave Louisville the 50-37 lead with five minutes left in the game.
From there, Louisville was able to hold off St. Louis with turnover-causing defense and consistent offense. St. Louis ended the game with 17 turnovers, 0-14 from three point land, 41% from the field, and only 53% from the free throw line (Jordair Jett was only 3 for 9 from the free throw line)!
Louisville did not have a consistent offense through out the entire game, but in the late second half, Louisville picked up their scoring. After the 14 minute mark in the second half, Louisville shot 13-17 from the field and kept pushing the lead. At the end of the game, Louisville's turnover causing defense and second half offense was too much for St. Louis.