The absence of Chris Jones was noticeable during the first stages of the game. Without the use of the team's second leading scorer available due to a sprained wrist, the Cardinals struggled to score to begin the game. U of L's inside presence of Stephan Van Treese and Mangok Mathiang scored the only points during the game's first five minutes. Russ Smith added a three-pointer, but U of L was unable to take advantage of an extremely poor shooting start for Western Kentucky, which didn't make it's first field goal until 12:56 left in the first half. Louisville 8-6.
Sophomore Montrezl Harrell was whistled for his second foul just five minutes into the game and the Cardinals holding an early 5-2 lead. Louisville struggled with the forward on the bench. WKU outrebounded U of L 16-8 for the first 10 minutes of the game. Highlighted by 7 first half rebounds, the Cardinals bounced back to out-do the Hilltoppers on the board for the remainder of the half to even out the totals. Harrell didn't return to the lineup during the first half, finishing with no points or rebounds prior to the break.
Not enjoying what he was seeing from his team, Rick Pitino called back-to-back timeouts midway through the second half. The first came after the Hilltoppers grabbed their first lead of the game on a by George Fant. Pitino called the second moments later as WKU managed a 9-2 run that was capped off with a three-pointer by Chris Harrison-Docks. Western Kentucky 19-15.
Struggling to score in the first half, the Cardinals top point production during the first half came from redshirt freshman Mangok Mathiang. The center scored a career-high 10 points during the first 20 minutes of play to go along with 4 first half rebounds.
Following a dunk by George Fant to give the visitors a three point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Wayne Blackshear shot the Cardinals back into the lead with two consecutive three-pointers to put U of L on top at the half. Blackshear, who entered the contest as the team's top three-point shooter at 44 percent, connected on 2 of 3 shot beyond the arc during the first half. Louisville 31-28.
Opening the second half with a slim lead over Western Kentucky, the Cardinals experienced their first run of the game following the break. U of L's All-American Russ Smith fueled the run with 7 points and a key assist to Tim Henderson for a three-pointer. The scoring spurt also included Harrell's first points of the game – a dunk. Louisville 45-33.
Trailing by double digits for the first time in the game, WKU refused to back down and posted closed the gap to six before the Cardinals managed their big run of the game. Sparked by a Chane Behanan dunk with 11 minutes remaining in the game, U of L outscored WKU 16-2 over the next 7 minutes to build a 20 point lead. The run was topped off by a three-pointer from senior Tim Henderson. Louisville 66-46.
Led by Russ Smith's 14 points, U of L had five players score in double figures... Louisville won the battle on the boards 38-36... U of L had 19 assists, with just 7 turnovers... the Cardinals connected on 45 percent of their three-point shots, hitting 9 of 20... Terry Rozier finished with a career-high 10 rebounds... Henderson's 12 points is a career-best