Freshmen lead Cards to Minardi Classic title

Louisville (8-1) freshman forward Terrence Williams scored a career-high 16 points and, Andre McGee hit three second half three-pointers to lead the Cardinals to a 78-63 win over the College of Charleston (4-4) Wednesday night.

Freshmen Terrance Williams and Andre McGee led Louisville to a 78-63 win over the College of Charleston Wednesday night to claim their fourth consecutive Billy Minardi Classic title.

Both Williams and McGee set career scoring highs. Williams' 16 points led the Cardinals, while McGee hit 3 three-pointers in the second half to finish with 11. Williams also had a hot hand from deep, connecting on 4-6 3's, and also slammed home two crowd pleasing dunks. For the game, Louisville made a season-high 12 three-pointers.

"They had some guys really step up for them," Charleston coach Tom Herrion said. "I thought some guys who may have been struggling lately made some big plays for them -Andre McGee and Terrence Williams."

Louisville led Charleston 34-23 at halftime, but the Cougars cut that lead to just four, 46-42, with 11:20 remaining in the game. That's when Williams, McGee and tournament MVP Brandon Jenkins went to work. The trio combined to score 16 points as Louisville went on a 21-6 run to open a commanding 67-48 lead.

"They shot the ball extremely well," Herrion said. "Inevitably, I thought the three-point shot beat us tonight. We cut it to four with roughly eleven minutes to go and they hit back-to-back threes to go to back up by 10."

Jenkins added 13 points for Louisville after scoring a career-high 20 points against Middle Tennessee Tuesday night. Louisville coach Rick Pitino sounded pleased with his junior guards' performance

"He's playing well," Pitino said. "He's playing with a great deal of confidence. You can just tell he's a different person, the way he feels about himself."

Jenkins also had 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.

"Brnadon Jenkins is very productive," Pitino said. "When you look at what he is doing besides scoring. What has impressed me about him is what he's doing on defense, on the glass and with his rotations. That's the best part about Brandon Jenkins right now."

Taquan Dean struggled again. Louisville's senior guard made just 8-27 shots from the field during the tournament, including only 2-11 shooting against the Charleston. Dean had 6 points and 6 rebounds.

"I think Taquan was a little banged up tonight," Pitino said. "He'll be fine, he's got to just use the offense to get off his shot. We know Taquan will be Taquan when it's time."

Pitino said afterward that he saw improvement with his teams play, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. The Cardinals held Charleston to just 37 percent shooting for the game.

"We are getting better, just not better for 40 minutes," Pitino said. "We're doing good things defensively. We're starting to learn what to do. We're stepping up and rotating a little better and that's what I want to see."

Dontaye Draper led Charleston with 16 points, while Josh Jackson pitched 13 points.

Besides Jenkins, Terrance Williams, Andre McGee, and David Padgett were also named to the All-Tournament team. Charleston's Draper and Jackson and Middle Tennessee guard Adam Voglesberg were also named to the All-Tournament squad.

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