Dayton has Cards number – again

Louisville got down early against Dayton Saturday afternoon in Freedom Hall and could never quite get over the hump, falling to the Flyers for the third consecutive time, 70-65.

Louisville seniors Juan Palacios and David Padgett both dressed and shot around during warm-ups Saturday before the Cardinals played Dayton. Neither played in Louisville's 70-65 loss to the Flyers but Rick Pitino sure could have used their experience.

"We played like a young basketball team," Pitino said. "Rather than move the ball and go inside- out, we fell right into the trap that they set for us. We're still not where we need to be fundamentally and we are paying for it now. We almost paid for it last week against Miami and we are paying for it now. We're just not understanding basketball and the fundamentals. The sophomore class is not paying attention to the game of basketball. They're not worrying about what's important and what's significant."

Louisville couldn't find the basket in the first half, hitting just 9 of 27 shots (33 percent) to fall behind 34-26 at the break. At one point late in the first half, the Cardinals had four players on the court at the same time that had not scored a point in the contest.

While the Cardinals struggled to make shots in the opening half, Dayton didn't. They moved the ball well in the half court and made open shots, hitting 48 percent of their 31 first half field goal attempts.

Behind Earl Clark and Derrick Caracter, Louisville climbed back into the game in the second half. Clark had another solid outing and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Caracter scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

But neither Clark or Caracter could prevent Dayton from walking out of Freedom Hall with a big December non-conference win for the second year in a row. When Louisville took their first lead of the game midway through the second half, Dayton had a big answer – going on a 6-0 mini-run to open a 53-46 lead with 7 minutes left in the game.

From that point, Dayton never looked back and Louisville never held the lead again.

"Dayton played a very good basketball game, we did not," Pitino said. "We practiced that way the whole week. We have a lot of distractions, four out of five days of bad practices, too many standing in the way of our improvement. There are too many things that we deal with on a daily basis other than basketball that is affecting our team. That's not something we can have. It's something that we have to concentrate on, the fundamentals of the game. It's hurting us, especially on the defensive end. We have to stop letting people that are smaller than us get in around the rim and get layups. It's happened in the last two games in a row."

Brian Roberts led Dayton with 28 points. Roberts was the only Flyer to score in double-figures for the game.


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