Sidelines with John Clay

Just what he needed: Louisville gives David Padgett signature win

Florida State’s Phil Cofer tries to shoot around the defense of Louisville;s Anas Mahmoud in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. Louisville rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Seminoles 73-69.
Florida State’s Phil Cofer tries to shoot around the defense of Louisville;s Anas Mahmoud in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. Louisville rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Seminoles 73-69. Associated Press

So how big was Louisville’s 73-69 win at No. 23 Florida State on Wednesday night?

It was U of L’s first road win over a Top 25 team since 2014, snapping a 12-game losing streak.

It snapped a 28-game home winning streak for the Seminoles, the third-longest in Division I basketball.

It gave Louisville’s interim head coach David Padgett his first signature win. “We needed this desperately,” said the 32-year-old coach afterward. “We had been so close.”

In fact, last time out, Louisville lost in overtime at Clemson on Saturday, falling 74-69 to the then 25th-ranked Tigers. Aside from the 29-point blowout it suffered at Kentucky on Dec. 29, it lost by nine at Purdue (66-57) and by two at home to Seton Hall (79-77).

Things looked bleak Wednesday when Padgett’s club fell behind by 17 with 1:33 left in the first half. It cut the margin to 13 at halftime (45-32), then outscored FSU 45-24 over the final 21:36.

Deng Adel scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. Ray Spalding contributed 15 points and six boards. Ryan McMahon scored 11 points off the bench. And Anas Mahmoud blocked three Florida State shots in the final 1:21 of the game.

Reports Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal: “Louisville played its best offensive game of the season, running patient sets and working to find better looks than the first available look. It was the kind of persistent, confident offense David Padgett has wanted to see all season. The spacing was good. The ball movement was productive. Even down 13 at halftime, it felt like that.”

As for the defensive end, FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said, “They had eight (blocks), but I don’t know how many shots they must have changed; 12 more shots that probably would have gone in had they not contested them. I thought that really made the difference in the game.”

All of a sudden, at 12-4 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, the Cardinals are back in the middle of the conference race. They’re tried for fourth place with Miami and Georgia Tech.

They play host to Virginia Tech on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 before going to Notre Dame next Tuesday.

Florida State dropped to 12-4 overall and 1-3 in ACC play.

Louisville men’s basketball 2017-18

Date

Opponent

UofL

Opp

Dec

Rec

ACC

11/12/17

George Mason

72

61

W

1-0

11/17/17

Nebraska Omaha

87

78

W

2-0

11/21/17

Southern Illinois

84

42

W

3-0

11/24/17

Saint Francis

84

72

W

4-0

11/28/17

@Purdue

57

66

L

4-1

12/3/17

Seton Hall

77

79

L

4-2

12/6/17

Siena

86

60

W

5-2

12/9/17

Indiana

71

62

W

6-2

12/11/17

Bryant

102

59

W

7-2

12/16/17

vsMemphis (NY)

81

72

W

8-2

12/20/17

Albany

70

68

W

9-2

12/23/17

Grand Canyon

74

56

W

10-2

12/29/17

@Kentucky

61

90

L

10-3

1/2/18

Pittsburgh

77

51

W

11-3

1-0

1/6/18

@Clemson

69

74

L*

11-4

1-1

1/10/18

@Florida State

73

69

W

12-4

2-1

1/13/18

Virginia Tech

1/16/18

@Notre Dame

1/21/18

Boston College

1/24/18

@Miami

1/27/18

Wake Forest

1/31/18

@Virginia

2/3/18

Florida State

2/5/18

Syracuse

2/11/18

@Pittsburgh

2/17/18

North Carolina

2/21/18

@Duke

2/24/18

@Virginia Tech

3/1/18

Virginia

3/3/18

@NC State

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