The Louisville men’s basketball team dropped to 11-10 on the year with a 74-65 loss to Duke at home on Saturday afternoon. The Cards fall to 5-6 in conference play. Duke improved to 17-3 and 7-2.
Final: Duke 74, Louisville 65
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) January 29, 2022
Duke raced out to a 12-2 lead within the first four minutes of the first half and held that double digit lead at the end of the first four segments in the half. It was 32-21 at the under-4 timeout before Louisville closed on a 14-8 run, trailing 40-35 after the first 20 minutes.
Malik Williams led the Cards with 9 points and 7 boards at the half. El Ellis put up 10 points in 10 first half minutes. Duke was held to 46.2-percent shooting in the half and just 23.3-percent from three.
Out of the break, Louisville quickly got things tied up at 45 within the first 2:30 of the half. The Cards trailed at both of the first two media timeouts and by as many as seven before tying things up at 60 with 7:16 on the clock.
We got a tie game in Louisville 👀 @LouisvilleMBB
📺 ESPN pic.twitter.com/WpDrYNPJ1N
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) January 29, 2022
Duke responded with an 8-0, forcing a Louisville timeout at the 4:47 mark. It was a 12-0 run in total over the next five minutes that sealed the win for the Blue Devils. Louisville scored just five points in the final 8:28.
The Louisville men’s basketball program is in the midst of its worst season in at least two decades. The fans had stopped showing up. The lack of excitement around the team seemed at an all time low.
Saturday was proof that this is still Louisville. This is still as passionate a fanbase as any in the country. It is a shame that it took a coaching change to make it happen, but the atmosphere inside the Yum! Center was as electric as we have seen in well over two years.
There are not many places that could pack an NBA-style arena at noon on a Saturday with snow and ice on the ground, and for a 11-9 team nonetheless.
It will be some time before we know for sure who is going to take over as Louisville head men’s basketball coach. Whoever that is, they will not have to worry about whether or not the program has this city’s support.
Louisville hosts North Carolina on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN