Even though the first half was far from pretty…the Cardinals played great in the second half to put away Rutgers, 68-48.
Wayne Blackshear played like a man among boys tonight. With the announcers that were calling the game tonight…you would have thought the Blackshear was a cancer to this Louisville team. But contrary to their insanely opinionated announcing, tonight he was the catalyst as he scored a career high 19 points. Everytime Blackshear has a game like this, Louisville fans bring their hopes up so high and start to expect the guy who beat out Anthony Davis in the Mr. Illinois high school basketball race. But I guess with flashes like this…its pretty hard not to be optimistic.
Peyton Siva had another typical game for him. He never really stood out on the floor but he controlled the game and was definitely the floor general all night. His 9 points and 7 assist really helped produce for others. Siva also had a big 3 in a critical time where Louisville was poised to go on a run.
With Russ Smith Sr. in the stands, Russ Smith played…well…Russdiculous. He took some stupid shots and he also took some shots that made you say wow. Smith drove coast to coast and dunked in a play in which you will definitely be seeing on Sportscenter’s Top 10 tonight and tomorrow morning. Smith finished the game with 14 points, 5 Rbs, and 4 Ast.
Once again Louisville’s three headed monster in the front court controlled the boards. Gorgui Dieng’s 6 blocks helped to make Rutgers weary to go inside. Chane Behanan’s ability to clear space off of offensive rebounds and take the ball back to the rim helped to collapse the defense into the paint and reduce fast break opportunities. Last but definitely not least, Montrezl Harrell’s jaw dropping athleticism made it almost impossible for Rutgers to keep him away from high percentage shots.
I know that Rutgers is not a very good team and to base where your team is at over a win versus Rutgers is sort of like basing a girl off of her extremly photoshopped Facebook photos. But this team really has come a long way in the confidence standpoint since the 3 game losing streak. If Louisville can get through Notre Dame this weekend (and if the fans can get through Dick Vitale calling the game *sigh*) than I don’t see Louisville losing in the month of February.
Louisville’s next game will be in South Bend versus Notre Dame. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Other notable stat lines:
Stephan Van Treese: 2 Rbs
Luke Hancock: 5 Pts, 3 Rbs
Kevin Ware: 7Pts, 3 Rbs