Louisville was outplayed and out-hustled as the Cardinals dropped their first game of the season to Texas Tech 70-57 in New York.
Jordan Nwora led Louisville with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists on only 4-16 from the field. Steven Enoch added 10 points and 6 boards. Dwayne Sutton provided 4 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
For Texas Tech, Davide Moretti led the way with 18 points and 3 assists. Chris Clarke had 7 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. Both Terrence Shannon and walk-on Avery Benson scored in double figures.
As a team, Louisville shot 34 percent from the field and only connected on 3 of 17 attempts from deep. The Cards were outrebounded and turned the ball over 19 times.
Louisville led 12-5 early, but Texas Tech responded with an 11-0 run over six minutes to take a 16-12 lead. Louisville started out 3-19 from the field. Texas Tech was keeping Louisville out of the paint and the Cards were forced into taking bad shots.
Mack put Steven Enoch back into the game and Louisville went on a small run of its own. Enoch was 4-5 from the field in the first half; the rest of his team only made four field goals. Texas Tech led 31-28 at halftime.
Out of the break, Louisville looked a little livelier, but was unable to hit its open shots. Texas Tech got the lead out to 44-36 at the under-12 media timeout.
The lead hovered around 4-8 points for Tech throughout most of the half, but Louisville was unable to break through and Texas Tech ran away in the end.
This was not a well played game on either side, but Texas Tech looked like the hungrier team on Tuesday night. Louisville looked lazy and downright disinterested at times on the floor. The game was right there for the taking and the Cards just could not put together a run when they needed it.
All preseason you heard about Louisville’s lack of point guard play. On Tuesday, those concerns really became true as Louisville struggled immensely in the half court. The Cards just did not have anyone who was able to do anything off the dribble on the perimeter. Even when they got their preferred shots, they just weren’t falling for the Cards. The game got sloppy at times and Louisville didn’t have anyone to provide a calming presence on the ball when it needed to be slowed down. Jordan Nwora had his lowest scoring game of the season and was unable to make up for the team’s struggles on that end.
The absence of a true point guard can be covered up, but Louisville just doesn’t have enough creators on offense at any position. It’s only 10 games into the season, but that’s something that will absolutely have to change if this team wants to be considered among the elite when its all said and done.
The good news is that you trust Chris Mack to know what’s wrong with his team and that he’ll work on rectifying it in the coming weeks. Hustle and hard work can be improved in the short term, but the long term concerns will be tougher to overcome. Louisville was deserving of its number one ranking coming into the night, but it hardly looked like that team on Tuesday.
Up Next: Louisville is back home for Eastern Kentucky at noon on the ACC Network.