Cards hope to "rebound" at Cincinnati

The #4 Louisville Cardinals (19-3, 9-2) look to rebound against Cincinnati (14-8, 6-5)after suffering its first home loss of the season Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS.

Cards try to rebound at Cincinnati

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2003
Time: 4:00 pm
Site: Shoemaker Center - Cincinnati, OH (13,176)
Television: CBS (Dan Bonner, Craig Bolerjack)
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Last Meeting: Louisville won 77-71 CBS on February 5 at Freedom Hall
National Rankings:
   CINCINNATI      NOT RANKED/  28th RPI
   LOUISVILLE       4th AP, 3rd USA Today/ESPN, 3rd RPI
Significant injuries: UM - Earl Barron (ankle)  U of L - None

Fourth ranked Louisville (19-3, 9-3) travels to Cincinnati on Saturday and will attempt to rebound from Wednesday's 80-73 loss to Memphis in Freedom Hall in which the Cards were killed on the boards.

The Bearcats have dropped five of their last six games, including a 77-71 set back to Louisville on February 5.  The Cards, after winning 17 straight, have now dropped two of their last three games and will attempt to do the impossible tomorrow;  hand Cincinnati its second consecutive loss at the Shoemaker Center.  Always tough at home, the Bearcats have never lost two straight in the Shoe.

Cincinnati is led by 6-7 sophomore forward Jason Maxiell, who dropped 21 points against the Cards in the first meeting and 6-6 forward Leonard Stokes. 

In losing 5 of its past 6, the Bearcats have struggled shooting and rebounding the basketball.  In its 8 losses, the Bearcats have made just 36% of its shots from the field and have been out rebounded by 5.4 per contest.  However, the biggest problem for this UC team may be its toughness.

Forward Jason Maxiell told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Bearcats lack, "heart and effort," this season.  "They stay in the locker room with their heads down.  They should come out ready to play no matter what," Maxiell said of his teammates.

The Cards struggled Wednesday night against Memphis on the boards, being out rebounded by the Tigers by 16.  While the Cards haven't been a dominating team on the glass all the season, they have done two things consistently well to off set its rebounding deficiencies; shoot the ball well and force opponent turnovers.  However, against the Tigers, the Cards finished with zero fast break points and shot just 35% from the floor.

The Cardinals will focus on improving both statistics tomorrow in Cincinnati after a tough two days of practice following the loss to Memphis.  For the Cards to win, they must defend and rebound better than they did Wednesday night and shoot a higher percentage from the floor against UC.  But the key just may be turnovers.  If the Cards can force the Bearcats into errors with its defensive pressure, the Cards stand a solid chance to sweep the Bearcats for the first time since 1989.  It won't be easy though as the Bearcats commit fewer than 11 turnovers per game.  

Look for the Cards to come out with lots of energy and determination and play better team ball against the Bearcats.  The Cards win number 20 tomorrow, 74-68,  for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

Louisville
Statistical Category

Cincinnati

82.3
Points
67.0
64.9
Opponent Points
60.0
+17.7
Scoring Margin
+7
.473
FG %
.411
.390
Opponent FG %
.391
.372
3PT FG %
.352
.286
Opponent 3PT FG %
.342
.709
Free Throw %
.679
38.4
Rebounds
35.6
35.0
Opponent Rebounds
34.2
+3.4
Rebounding Margin
+1.4
17.3
Assists
12.1
13.7
Turnovers
10.7
4.9
Blocks
4.0

7.0

Steals

5.3

Probable Starting Lineups

#4 Louisville Cardinals (19-2, 9-1)
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
F 2 Ellis Myles 6-8 235 Jr.
7.7
8.0
1.9
F 32 Francisco Garcia 6-7 175 Fr.
10.2
2.8
1.9
C 21 Marvin Stone 6-10 240 Sr.
11.6
7.6
1.5
G 5 Taquan Dean 6-3 175 Fr.
8.6
2.9
1.5
G 22 Reece Gaines 6-6 205 Sr.
18.6
2.7
5.2
Cincinnati Bearcats (14-8, 6-5)
Pos No . Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
G 02 Field Williams 6-3 175 Jr. 12.6 2.4
0.9
G 20 Tarron Barker 6-1 200 Sr. 6.8 4.0 5.2
F 54 Jason Maxiell 6-7 255 So. 12.3 6.9 0.4
C 42 Kareem Johnson 6-8 260 Jr. 2.3 4.5
0.0
F 20 Leonard Stokes 6-6 200 Sr. 16.0 4.8 3.0


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