With head coach Rick Pitino under the weather and All-American Montrezl Harrell serving a one-game suspension, the University of Louisville basketball team needed some others to step up on Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
Blackshear had a career-high 31 points, while Levitch also had a career-high with nine as the two combined to hit 9 of 15 from three-point range.
Terry Rozier added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Chris Jones chipped in nine point for the Cardinals.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Well, that's pretty easy.
Blackshear, a senior from Chicago, stepped up and played like a veteran in a game when the Cardinals needed to ride his coat tails a bit.
He hit his first seven shots of the game and scored 23 in the first half, finishing 11 of 17 from the field and 6 of 11 from three-point range.
Blackshear set a career-record for field goals attempted and made and also for three-pointers attempted and made. He also became the third player to score 30 or more in a game for U of L this season following Terry Rozier and Harrell.
BIG SHOT OF THE GAME
Pitino was looking for a spark and got it from Levitch, the sophomore walk-on guard from North Oldham High School.
And he delivered.
The Cardinals were up just eight points with just over 12 minutes left when Levitch entered the game and he stroked the first of his three-pointers with 10:23 left to help push a nine-point lead to 58-46.
The bucket kickstarted a 17-1 run by the Cardinals.
THEY SAID IT . . .
"I'm feeling sick tonight. I didn't know if I was going to be able to coach tonight but I got through it. I'd rather not talk about this game but I will say this, David Levitch was unbelievable. He gave us a big lift in terms of what we were doing. He made the shots and that was nice but he knew what to run. The one thing we wanted to do was concentrate on not going to the rim and shooting the ball off the bounce. Last year we definitely lost the game against Kentucky because of offensive rebounding. They just pounded us at the end of the game on the glass and we lost a very close game. We didn't do a great job tonight but we're thrown all out of whack without Montrezl Harrell but we pulled out the two victories and now it's time to get back to work."
Reggie Theus, CSUN coach
"You see a lot of games like this and people are just wondering... can you survive? I thought when the energy levels were the same, we competed extremely well. We (had an) eight-point game with 16 minutes to go. I don't give this as an excuse, but when you only have seven guys, they make mistakes when they're tired and the effort level changes. Energy to energy and rest to rest, I thought that we battled them pretty hard and I'm really proud of the way our guys fought. If you look at it statistically, there's only one statistic that says the reason why we lost the game and that's three-pointers. They made 11, we made zero. You can't win a game like that."