No Vegas hangover; Cards down ODU

Sixth-ranked Louisville (4-1) avoided a hangover with a strong second half performance to down Old Dominion 64-53 Saturday in the Findlay Las Vegas Invitational consolation game.

Sixth-ranked Louisville (4-1) avoided a hangover with a strong second half performance to down Old Dominion 64-53 Saturday in the Findlay Las Vegas Invitational consolation game.

Terrence Williams and Derrick Caracter led the way for the Cardinals, who played their fifth game in eight days. Williams scored 20 points, 15 in the second half, while the 6'9 Caracter added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.


Louisville heads back from Vegas
with a 4-1 mark.
"Coming out of halftime, I told them ‘I know you're tired and gasping for air, but you've just got to give us twenty great minutes.' And they played terrific in the second half and I'm real proud of them," Rick Pitino said. "It was not an easy trip for us and it was a very difficult game for both of us. Our guys responded in a good way."

Caracter's play sparked Louisville, who trailed ODU 28-27 at halftime, in the second half. His hustle and two key second half blocks energized the Cardinals , who built a 45-38 lead with 11:26 left in the game.

But Caracter picked up his fourth foul just under the ten minute mark and ODU went on a 6-0 run to claw back into it at 45-44 at the seven minute mark. The score remained close for the next four minutes.

Then Williams came up big for Louisville, nailing a three-pointer with 3:32 left to put Louisville ahead 55-48. After an ODU three-pointer cut the Cardinals lead to 55-51, Edgar Sosa hit deep three from the baseline with the shot clock running out to put Louisville back up by seven at 58-51. On the next possession, Williams scored on an alley oop to give Louisville a 60-51 lead with 1:49 left and in firm control of the game.

Caracter's break away layup in the final minute put Louisville up 62-53 and sealed the win.

"We got a lot out of the (trip) but we're really fatigued," Pitino said. "We're in good shape but to put any team through what I put them through is unfair. We had to play really hard last night and we had to play really hard today. We didn't get the gold (medal) but we'll take the bronze and move on."

Louisville opened the game with a 10-0 run. The Cardinals were active and intense on defense early in the first half as ODU didn't get their first field goal until the 13:19 mark in the first half.

Once ODU found the basket, though, the Monarchs countered Louisville's opening spurt with a 13-5 run of their own over the games next five minutes and finished the half on a 28-17 run.

A day after falling to BYU, the Cardinals turned in a solid defensive performance. Louisville held ODU to just 33. 9 percent shooting, blocked seven shots and made steals.

"We just had to survive in the zone," Pitino said. "We didn't play any man-to-man. We had to make them shoot a low percentage and take a lot of challenged shots and rebound the ball well. We played great defense in the first five minutes. We're just playing too many minutes for these guys to sustain that effort."

Earl Clark finished with a game-high 15 rebounds. Clark also scored 11 points.

Jerry Smith scored 11 points and Sosa added 8 points, four assists and one steal.


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