University of Louisville

Louisville romps in exhibition but flaws exposed

Louisville senior small forward Wayne Blackshear
Louisville senior small forward Wayne Blackshear Associated Press

The Louisville men’s basketball team buried Barry 91-71 Saturday afternoon to get an, at times, shaky win in its first home exhibition game this season.

After jumping out to a 45-29 halftime lead, the Cardinals just edged the Buccaneers 46-42 in the second half to cruise to victory. Senior forward Wayne Blackshear, whose 22 points were a game-high, helped seal the win with 10 points in the game’s second frame.

Barry trimmed the Louisville lead to 75-61 with 5:16 remaining, but Blackshear scored eight straight points in less than three minutes to effectively erase any possibility of a Buccaneers comeback. Draining a three-pointer from the right corner at the 5:23 mark, Blackshear pushed the Cardinals ahead by 17 before adding another deep-ball from the left wing on Louisville’s next possession. Blackshear capped the sequence with a steal and dunk with 2:50 remaining.

Also boosting the Cardinals in the second half was guard Terry Rozier, who set the pace in the half by scoring the first five U of L points and dishing out five assists.

With the smothering defense that has become their identity over the years, the Cardinals staved off Barry by forcing 20 turnovers, blocking nine shots, and holding the Buccaneers to 33.3 percent from the field on 24 of 72 shooting.

Barry held a 53-41 advantage in rebounding. The Buccaneers dominated the offensive glass, out-rebounding the Cardinals 29-16 on the offensive end.

“That’s what’s exhibition is about,” Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said after the game. “You see what you’re doing well and what you need to work on. It’s really about technique and that’s why we’ve been rebounding poorly.

“From a technical standpoint, this was really good for us. Out there, we saw our flaws.”

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