In an all-around team effort, the No. 11 Cardinals took care of business at home against the visiting Salukis from Southern Illinois. The Cardinals went into halftime up 37-26 and the second half scoring was almost identical with the Cardinals outscoring the Salukis 37-25 for a final score of 74-51. While Louisville shot well from the field overall (45.8%), their 3-point percentage (23.5% on 4-17) and their free throw percentage (61.5% on 16-26) left much to be desired. Those two categories have to improve for the Cardinals or else the upcoming schedule will prove to be more difficult than already anticipated. As anticipated the Cardinals took advantage of the height difference out-rebounding the Salukis 43 to 31, which included 13 offensive rebounds. Two more bright spots were the assists to made basket percentage (48%) and the 9 total blocks (which, again can be attributed to the height difference).
The Cardinals were led in scoring by Mangok Mathiang (yes, you read that correctly), who scored 15 points on an efficient 6-9 from the field. Deng Adel finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylen Johnson almost had another double-double as well, he finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds. Matz Stockman saw an increase in playing time and made the most of it, he went 3-4 with 7 points in 16 minutes.
Up next, the Cardinals host Texas Southern on Saturday at 2pm. As long as Louisville keeps their focus on the opponent in front of them, the Battle for the Bluegrass should feature two Top-10 teams for just the 6th time since the rivalry was renewed in 1983.