Junior guard Brandon Jenkins was nearly perfect from the floor in the Cardinals (13-2) 81-58 win on Monday night over visiting UC-Davis
Playing without senior Taquan Dean
and freshman Chad Millard
, the tenth-ranked Cardinals found the offense that had seemingly escaped them for the past few weeks. Behind a career-high 31 points from Brandon Jenkins
, who connected on 11 of 13 shot attempts, including 7 of 9 beyond the three-point arc, Louisville
(13-2) cruised past visiting UC-Davis 81-58 on Monday night.
"I was actually trying to get more rebounds because Taquan averages six [a game]," said Jenkins, who turned 21 on January 8. "Tonight I just felt comfortable shooting and my teammates found me today. I felt comfortable out there. I felt good during the shoot-around. The shots were going my way. The guys on the team were making the extra pass and that's what coach wanted us to do."
Sophomore David Padgett was the only other Cardinal to score in double figures with 14 points, while freshman Terrence Williams fell short of a triple-double with 8 points, 8 rebounds and set a new career best of 8 assists.
"When you have a great leader out it's not just about filling his shoes with the points," Williams said of playing without Dean, who is nursing a sore ankle. "It's about the doing the little things. With him on the sideline he kept whispering in my ear things that he'd like to see me do, like pass the ball and rebound. That's what I tried to put my mindset on and do."
Taquan Dean & Rick Pitino look on
Leading 21-18 with 11:00 minutes remaining in the opening half, the Cardinals opened the game up with a 16-3 run that was highlighted by three-pointers from Bryan Harvey
, Brad Gianiny
and a pair of trifectas from Jenkins.
Louisville handed out 18 assists in the win, helping the team shoot a season-best 54.9% from the floor and connected on 43.5% of it's three-point attempts.
"I loved our unselfishness tonight," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino. "I asked our young guys try to play like a mature basketball team and I thought they did a phenomenal job of looking for open shots."
The Cardinals will next face undefeated and 12th-ranked Pittsburgh on Sunday at Freedom Hall.
The Cardinals played without senior guard Taquan Dean (ankle) and freshman forward Chad Millard (stomach virus).
Junior Brandon Jenkins registered a new career-high for points (31) and three-point field goals (7) in the win over UC-Davis. Jenkins was 11-for-13 from the field and 7-of-9 from behind the arc. His previous scoring high was 20 against Middle Tennessee on 12/20/05 and he previously buried four trifectas against Tennessee-Martin on 11/19/05. He became the first U of L player to score 30 or more points in a game since Taquan Dean tallied 30 versus Richmond on 12/5/05.
Junior Brandon Jenkins' seven three-pointers were the most for a U of L player since Taquan Dean hit seven against Cincinnati (1/15/05) and West Virginia (3/26/05) in the NCAA Regional last season.
The Cardinals are 82-3 over the last seven years when scoring 80 or more points in a game (58-3 under Pitino).
The Cardinals shot a season-best 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half, connecting on 18-of-27 shots from the field. Louisville was also 7-of-14 from behind the arc in the first half.
Sophomore David Padgett hit 2-of-2 free throws to extend his streak to 21 consecutive free throws made over the last eight games.
Freshman Terrence Williams registered a new career-high for assists in a game with eight, besting his old mark of five against Chicago State on 12/13/05. He narrowly missed a triple-double with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Cardinals shot a season-high 54.9 percent from the field, marking the fourth time this year that U of L shot better than 50.0 percent from the floor. Louisville shot a previous best 53.8 percent from the floor in a win over Chicago State on 12/13/05.