Behind Taquan Dean's game-high 21 points, the Cardinals pulled away from the Cougars in the second half in their final tune up before heading to Lexington Saturday afternoon to face arch-rival Kentucky.
The Cardinals started out the game on fire, opening up a seemingly commanding 18-4 lead midway through the first half. However, Louisville struggled the rest of the half and the Cougars actually took a 29-28 lead just before halftime. U of L led 32-29 at the break.
"Obviously we didn't play particularly well in the first half," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We did silly things with our turnovers. Overall our offensive scheme against what they were doing was my fault as a coach. We made our corrections at halftime and did a better job in the second half."
After making their adjustments in the locker room, Louisville opened the second half with a 31-9 run and pulled away from the visiting Cougars (1-6). Besides Dean's 21, three other Cardinals scored in double figures. Brandon Jenkins scored 14 points, while 6-11 sophomore David Padgett scored 12. Freshman forward Terrence Williams chipped in 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
"I think we had a better offensive scheme in the second half," Pitino said. "I don't think we played very well in the first half. We didn't have a really good day of practice yesterday. The second half, we reacted much better offensively."
Louisville also played much better defensively than they did in Saturday's 111-85 win over Akron, holding Chicago State to just 30 percent shooting from the field and just nine points in the final 13 minutes. Louisville also out-rebounded Chicago State 42-22.
"Our game plan worked for the first half," Chicago State coach Kevin Jones said. "In the second half, they picked up the tempo. We went away from what we were doing in the first half, and they really hurt us on the boards.
Even though Louisville played well defensively, they still allowed the Cougars 10 three-point field goals. Afterward, Pitino said his team needed to make big improvements defensively.
"We are behind defensively, but I don't think it's the players fault," Pitino said. "We have only been together (with all players) for five days now. We haven't even worked on our presses."
Louisville forward Juan Palacios played just 3 minutes in the second half after he turned his right ankle, the same ankle he injured last summer, while grabbing a rebound late in the first half. Palacios finished with 4 points and 5 rebounds, and Pitino said he'll be evaluated Wednesday to determine if he'll be ready to play against Kentucky this Saturday.