UT-Martin falls 83-48 to No. 9 Louisville

Tennessee-Martin coach Jason James sees plenty of lessons his

young team can take from a humbling 83-48 loss to No. 9 Louisville

in their season opener.

”Any time you can take guys who have only had one year of

Division I basketball and have them play in front of 20,000 people,

it’s good experience,” James said.

”Now we’ll try to get them to slow down and play with more

purpose.”

Louisville’s swarming defense forced the Skyhawks into 21

turnovers, 13 of them in the first half. The Cardinals never

trailed, giving Rick Pitino his 600th college victory.

”They want to try and get you to make decisions at a faster

pace than you’re used to making decisions,” James said. ”When

that happens you throw the ball all over the gym and what’s what

happened tonight.”

Louisville jumped out to an early lead Friday with the

full-court press that has sparked so many of Pitino’s victories.

The Cardinals’ pressure sparked a five-minute 15-2 run less than

four minutes into the game that set the tone for the game and put

Louisville up 25-7 with 11:05 left in the first half. The Cardinals

forced five of their 21 turnovers during the stretch.

Point guard Peyton Siva said the Louisville pressure wore down

the Skyhawks, who shot just under than 30 percent from the

field.

”We got them tired and they’re a great shooting team,” Siva

said. ”They shot a lot of short shots from three. It just helped

us, getting out on the break.”

”They are like sharks,” James said. ”They smell blood and

it’s over.”

Siva had nine assists, one off his career high, and added 10

points. Kyle Kuric finished with 14 points, all in the first half.

Freshman Chane Behanan had 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his

collegiate debut. Kuric’s strong start put Louisville up 47-23 at

the half.

Mike Liabo led Tennessee-Martin with 15 points and four assists.

Troy King scored 10 points, but had nine of the Skyhawks’

turnovers.

Pitino is the 38th coach to reach 600 wins. He is the 15th

fastest to the milestone, doing it one game quicker than former

Louisville coach Denny Crum.

Pitino’s wins come from four head coaching stops: Boston

University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. He also has a 2-4

record as an interim head coach at Hawaii during the 1975-76

season.

Tennessee-Martin returns to action 1 p.m. Sunday at Ohio.