No. 16 Louisville pulls away from Missouri-Kansas City 75-47
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Trey Lewis scored 17 points, Damion Lee added 14 and No. 16 Louisville pulled away from Missouri-Kansas City for a 75-47 victory Tuesday night.
After uneven play for most of the late-evening contest, the Cardinals (10-1) regrouped to mount a 9-0 run over 2:02 for a 60-39 lead with 8:17 remaining. Louisville went on to clinch an opening win in the Billy Minardi Classic. Lewis was the catalyst as he scored nine points after intermission and helped Louisville cruise down the stretch.
Lee made 5 of 8 from the field including two 3-pointers, while Jaylen Johnson, Chinanu Onuaku and Donovan Mitchell each had 10 points to help the Cardinals to their fifth win in a row. Louisville outrebounded UMKC 36-31 after playing even on the boards for much of the game.
Martez Harrison scored 12 points for UMKC (7-5), which shot just 30 percent as its two-game winning streak ended.
The game matched Louisville coach Rick Pitino against former Cardinals assistant Kareem Richardson, now in his third season as Kangaroos coach. Richardson's staff had included Andre McGee, who resigned Oct. 23 in the wake of allegations by escort Katina Powell in a book that the former Louisville staffer paid her and other dancers $10,000 to strip and have sex with Cardinals players and recruits from 2010-14.
The allegations cast a shadow over Louisville entering the season, but things have quieted down as several investigations continue. Pitino hasn't commented since late October and he tried to keep this week's focus on the Classic named for his late brother-in-law, who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
With Pitino having mentored Richardson and other former Louisville assistants and players in this round-robin event, defense figured to be big. Louisville's mix of zone and man defenses helped build a lead it never lost despite some disjointed moments.
The Cardinals played without 6-foot-10 forward Mangok Mathiang, who's out six-to-eight weeks with a broken left foot sustained Saturday against Western Kentucky, and 7-footer Anas Mahmoud (ankle). But Louisville did just fine with a combination of Onuaku, Johnson, Ray Spalding and Matz Stockman despite being outrebounded 17-16 in the first half.
Johnson ended up with career high in points along with five rebounds, while Onuaku grabbed nine boards. The Cardinals also controlled the inside 40-16 and forced 19 turnovers.
UMKC still made things interesting with a 6-0 run coming out of the break to get within 10. The Cardinals answered with seven straight points for some breathing room and finally sealed it with the late run.
Missouri-Kansas City: Harrison entered as the WAC's active career leader in several categories including points (1,268) and 3-pointers (97). … The Kangaroos' start included a win over Mississippi State, the second straight year they've beaten a Southeastern Conference school.
Louisville: Guard/forward Deng Adel had two rebounds in 11 minutes after missing eight games with a sprained knee.
Missouri-Kansas: City faces UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night.
Louisville: faces Utah Valley on Wednesday night.