After struggling offensively throughout their home loss to Memphis on Thursday, the Cardinals received an early spark from sophomore Montrezl Harrell just minutes into the game. SMU held a 5-2 lead until Harrell hammered a dunk and was fouled. He drained the free throw to even the game. A three-pointer by Russ Smith, off an assist from Mangok Mathiang, gave U of L a 3-point lead. Louisville would never surrender the lead. Louisville 8-5.
A dunk by SMU's Ryan Manuel knotted the score at 10-10 with 12:35 remaining in the first half. After that it was all Louisville for the next 8 minutes. Started by a Montrezl Harrell dunk off an assist from Stephan Van Treese, the Cardinals outscored the Mustangs 20-5 during the team's first noticable run in two games.
A three-pointer by Terry Rozier and a penetrating layup by Luke Hancock pushed the lead out to 17-11. After picking up a personal foul that led to a pair of SMU free throws, Wayne Blackshear sunk a three-pointer as the shot clock expired building a 7 point lead. A few possessions later Van Treese found a breaking Russ Smith for a fast break layup, and one. A second three-pointer from Rozier and a basket by Smith turned the previously tied game into a 15-point lead with 5:11 remaining in the first. Louisville 30-15.
Trailing by 15, the Mustangs appeared poised to manage a run of their own. A 5-2 SMU scoring burst narrowed the lead, but the Cardinals ended any hopes of the visitors making a significant run to end the first half. A three-pointer by Russ Smith, followed by a Smith steal and assist to Chris Jones for a layup kept the Cardinals comfortably in front with 2:04 to play in the opening frame. Louisville 37-20.
As the second half was just underway, the classic song "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett was played over the KFC Yum! Center speaker system and the visitors appeared to receive motivation from it. Trailing by 12 at the half, SMU broke out of the gates to begin the second half, nearly erasing the Cardinals advantage.
SMU raced to a 15-5 scoring spurt to cut the lead to 42-40 with 14:52 to play in the game. During that stretch, U of L committed 6 fouls, had 5 turnovers, missed three field goals and a pair of free throw attempts. SMU forward Markus Kennedy scored 8 points during the Mustang run. Louisville 42-40.
As the Cardinals lead dwindled, Luke Hancock became the only offensive threat during the first 12 minutes of the second half. The senior scored 11 points – a trio of three-pointers and a driving dunk – until he went to the bench for a short breather with 8:05 remaining in the game. Terry Rozier scored the only other points until Russ Smith scored 5 straight on two free throws and a three-pointer with 7 minutes remaining to give U of L a 55-47 lead.
Following his brief rest, Hancock continued to carry the Cardinals offensively. He scored 19 points in the second half and made multiple key plays on the floor. Hancock's 23 total points is a new career high. Louisville 66-58.