No. 9 Louisville 83, UT-Martin 48

BY foxsports • November 12, 2011

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.

share story