Without watching the game for a second time, I will just give my quick analysis and reaction to the Louisville-UConn game. It seems like it is always a close one when we play at UConn and this one was no different. When it looked like the Cards had pulled away, UConn made a late run, but luckily it was not enough. Louisville held on to win 76-64.
Montrezl Harrell certainly came to play. The sophomore forward finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He controlled the game in the paint for the Cards. He also had the 15-17 foot jump shot going, which adds a whole new element to his game. If he is hitting that consistently, watch out.
After scoring only 5 points in the 1st half, Russ Smith put the team on his back in the 2nd half, finishing with 23 points and 4 rebounds. He was also 12-15 from the free throw line.
Shabazz Napier did everything he could to keep UConn in the game. He scored a career high 30 points while hitting 5 three pointers. While he is exciting to watch, I won’t be upset when we don’t have to face him anymore. Anytime he shot a 3, it seemed like it had a great chance of going in. That kid is certainly a ball player.
A very big play down the stretch happened with 1:59 left to play. With the Cards leading 67-60 and UConn looking to close the gap, Luke Hancock broke up an alley-oop that would have sent the arena in a frenzie and cut the lead down to 5 with under 2 minutes to play. Louisville ended up with possession and Russ Smith hit a baseline jumper to push the lead to 9. That 4 point swing was HUGE!
In regards to the play that ended up getting Kevin Ollie ejected, I really don’t think there was a foul there. The guy for UConn tried to jump into Blackshear, which is not a foul. And he didn’t even do a good job at that. There was very little contact. I am not just being a homer there, I really think it would have been a cheap foul to call.
Just when some people talk about the Cards struggling this season, they absolutely destroy Houston and then pick up a big road win at UConn. Next up is USF on Wednesday on the road, then a week off before a big game against Cincinnati on January 30.