Gameday Recap: Louisville MBB Outlasts Maryland on Saturday Morning in the Bahamas

On a Saturday morning in Nassau, the Louisville men’s basketball team started off a big day for its athletic department with a 63-55 victory over Maryland to secure the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship. Louisville improved to 5-1 overall after winning its fourth straight. Maryland falls to 5-2 with the loss.

Malik Williams led Louisville with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.  Noah Locke added 12 points of his own while connecting on 3 of his 8 attempts from long range. Jarrod West recorded 9 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Louisville shot just 35.0 percent from the field and 22.2 percent (6-27) from three points range. The Cards turned the ball over 17 times on Saturday.

For Maryland, Donta Scott led all scorers with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Fatts Russell added 11 points and 6 rebounds. Maryland was held to 38.5 percent shooting from the field.

It was a peculiar 10 a.m. tip-off at the Baha Mar Convention Center on Saturday. Louisville held an early 5-1 lead before Maryland raced out to a 13-6 advantage at the 10:49 mark in the first half. Louisville responded in a big way, outscoring the Terps 26-14 for the remainder of the half to secure a 32-27 lead through 20 minutes.

An extended drought of more than seven minutes had Louisville trailing 47-42 with just over 7:00 to play in the second half. The Cards went on a 10-2 run from there and secured the lead for good on its way to victory in the Bahamas Championship.

Extended Thoughts:

  • Louisville was dominant on the glass Saturday, out-rebounding Maryland 51-25 in total and 17-2 offensively. This comes just a couple weeks after being out-rebounded by both Furman and Navy in back to back games at home. Louisville has some elite level rebounders in its frontcourt. You could argue that the right amount of effort was not there before this trip. I could not be more impressed by how they turned things around in that department this weekend.
  • Give some credit to Jarrod West, who scored seven straight points late in the second half only a couple minutes after Maryland went on a 13-0 run of its own. West has probably not been the biggest fan favorite so far, but he stepped in and took control when his team needed it most on Saturday. Considering his consistent impact defensively, it is hard to see anyone else occupying that starting point guard spot moving forward.
  • It was a tough day for Malik Williams on the offensive end Saturday. Williams continues to be the heart and soul of the Cards’ defense, though. He was one of many different players who impacted the game without the ball in their hands. We have known for years now that Malik has been so crucial defensively. This Louisville men’s basketball team has its fair share of flaws, but it appears that the frontcourt defense is going to create nightmares for opponents in 2022.
  • Louisville entered the Bahamas with an uninspiring 3-1 record and some serious reasons to be concerned. The two games played this weekend were a total breath of fresh air. Obviously results matter more than anything in college basketball, but the Cards showed something that was simply not there through four games. We still do not know for sure just how talented the roster might be, but anymore I do not think effort is something we should have to worry about.
  • Head Coach Chris Mack returns to the bench next week after serving his full six game suspension. Things started out poorly, but a 5-1 record at this point is something we can all be excited about. Considering what we know about this team, it could have easily been much worse. Mike Pegues was thrown into a difficult situation and did an admirable job acting as head coach. We learned a lot about team 108 this weekend. Now, Louisville has its leader back at what seems like the perfect time.

Up Next:

Louisville heads on the road for a matchup with Michigan State on Wednesday night at 7:15 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Postgame Pressers:

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