Team Effort in Nashville
  • Dartez Rebounds Against WKU"> Team Effort in Nashville
  • Dartez Rebounds Against WKU">

    Garcia's Passing, Defense Key Blowout

    <b>Nashville</b> -- Luke Whitehead and Francisco Garcia led Louisville (1-1) past the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 93-63, in Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center.<p> <B>EXTRA:</B><br><li> <a href=""><b>Team Effort in Nashville</b></a><li> <a href=""><b>Dartez Rebounds Against WKU</b></a>

    Both Louisville and Western came out for tonight's game much the same as was the crowd, highly charged and full of energy.

    Louisville once again started slowly on offense against the Toppers, hurting themselves with early turnovers and cold shooting. The Cards committed three turnovers in the game's first six minutes and connecting on just 4-11 shots from the floor and fell behind Darren Horn's squad 10-8 with 13:53 remaining in the first half.

    Over the next five and a half minutes, Louisville's offense wasn't much better and the Cards trailed 13-9 with just under 12 minutes left in the half.

    Then Louisville tightened the screws at the defensive end and began to find their rhythm on offense.

    The Cards ended the half on a 21-11 run to take a 34-28 lead to the locker room.

    Western's 6'11 center Nigel Dixon was effective in the first twenty minutes of action, scoring 10 points from point blank range. Anthony Winchester hit two three pointers in the opening stanza for six points.

    Louisville came out of the locker room even hotter than they ended the first, opening the second half with an 11-2 run that forced Western to call two quick timeouts during the first 2:36 of the second half.

    The Cards opened a fifteen point lead with 17:00 minutes remaining at 45-30, keyed by three steals, two by Whitehead and one by Garcia, and highlighted with a rim rattling jam by Mohammed. At the first TV timeout of the second half, Louisville led 48-34.

    And then the blowout ensued with Louisville's fans erupting in approval. Initiated by a fierce defense and the uncanny passing of Garcia, Louisville scored 26 points in the first six and a half minutes of the half, taking a 60-34 lead with 13:45 remaining.

    "We played outstanding defense the whole game and pressed really well," Pitino said.

    Louisville then cruised to its first victory of the season in impressive fashion, handing Western its fourth straight loss to open the season, 93-63.

    Garcia spent several minutes initiating the offense from the point in the second half, penetrating the lane and exploiting Western's defensive weaknesses on the perimeter to create easy scoring opportunities for his teammates. He finished with 11 points, 8 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals in 31 minutes of action.

    Luke Whitehead had another outstanding performance, recording his second double-double performance of the season with a game high 22 points to go with his team leading 10 rebounds.

    Kendall Dartez, held scoreless against Iowa, rebounded with a solid performance. The 6'10 center battled Dixon in the paint and finished with 13 points and 3 boards.

    The Cards shot 53.7% from the field, including 63% in the second half. Louisville out rebounded the Toppers 42-37 and handed out 24 assists while committing just 9 turnovers.

    Nigel Dixon led Western with 15 points and 11 boards.

    Louisville held the Hilltoppers leading scorer Anthony Winchester to just 10 points. Winchester came in averaging nearly 18 points per game.

    Mike Wells had 14 points, and Antonio Haynes 13 points for Western.

    Louisville returns home to face Ralph Willard's Holy Cross Crusaders Sunday at 2 p.m.

    Notes ·

  • The father of 6'6 Taylor King, the top high school freshman in the nation was in attendance. King, who plays for Mater Dei (CA), has committed to UCLA. ·
  • Former UK standout Kenny Walker attended. ·
  • 6'9 Otis George replaced 6'10 Kendall Dartez in the starting line-up against WKU. George went down with 5:40 remaining in the first half with a severely bruised hip. George was taken to the locker room for treatment before the half. George returned to the bench for the second half unassisted. Pitino called George's injury after the game a "hip pointer." ·
  • Luke Whitehead took a hard fall to the floor, slightly injuring his shooting hand. ·
  • The difference in Louisville's offense? Simple. Pressure defense that led to easy baskets and the passing of small forward Francisco Garcia. Simply put, Garcia can alter a game with his ability to create shots for others.

    LOUISVILLE (1-1)
    Whitehead 10-13 2-2 22, O'Bannon 5-7 0-0 10, George 1-2 0-0 2, Dean 3-8 2-2 11, Garcia 3-10 4-4 11, Dartez 5-9 3-5 13, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Jenkins 1-2 0-0 2, Mohammed 4-9 2-2 11, Daniels 4-6 0-0 11. Totals 36-67 13-15 93.

    W. KENTUCKY (0-4)
    Pandov 3-8 0-0 8, Dixon 6-9 3-6 15, Haynes 5-11 1-4 13, Winchester 4-17 0-0 10, Wells 5-16 2-3 14, Rumph 0-1 1-2 1, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Lambert 1-3 0-0 2, Higgins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-65 7-15 63.

    Halftime- Louisville 34, W. Kentucky 28. 3-point goals- Louisville 8-20 (O'Bannon 0-1, Dean 3-7, Garcia 1-4, Mohammed 1-3, Daniels 3-5), W. Kentucky 8-23 (Pandov 2-3, Haynes 2-5, Winchester 2-7, Wells 2-8). Fouled out- None. Rebounds- Louisville 42 (Whitehead 10), W. Kentucky 37 (Dixon, Lambert 11). Assists- Louisville 24 (Garcia 8), W. Kentucky 16 (Winchester, Wells 4). Total fouls- Louisville 17, W. Kentucky 18. A-12,120.

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