After an ugly first half, Louisville basketball used their best offensive spurt of the season to pull away from Wake Forest on Wednesday.
Well, my eyes did not expect to see what they saw during the first half of Wednesday night’s Louisville basketball home game against last-place Wake Forest.
Atrocious. Embarrassing. Frustrating. And Bamboozling. I could probably come up with 50 other words to describe what we saw as the Cards got down by as many as 16 points in the first half against Wake Forest. Yes, that Wake Forest.
A terrible start defensively led to open shot after open shot for one of the most average scoring teams in not only the ACC but across the country. The Deacons started the game shooting 50 percent from the three-point line hitting six of their first 12 three’s including five combined from guards Andrien White and Brandon Childress.
Louisville’s effort was noticeably lacking on both ends of the floor, but it was the defensive end where the score of the game was impacted. Time and time again Wake Forest beat Louisville down the court after rebounds for easy transition buckets that weren’t even contested.
It resulted in 46 points from Wake Forest, a team averaging just a hair over 62 points per game on the season, and an embarrassing 12 point deficit for Louisville. The Deacons shot a season-high (and probably program high) 60 percent from three in the first half as they hit six three-pointers, taking advantage of Louisville’s horrible defense.
The team must’ve had a coming to Jesus meeting at half time as they came out in the second half looking for blood. The Cards started the second half on a 20-5 run, grabbing the lead back from Wake Forest and never looking back.
Behind 13 points from Fresh Kimble and Dwayne Sutton (in the half), Louisville pushed their lead to double-digits as they suffocated Wake Forest on the defensive end (a huge kudos to Darius Perry) taking away all the open shots that once existed.
Wake Forest continued to score, especially Olivier Sarr, but Louisville proved to be way too much on both ends of the floor, holding the Deacons to just 30 points. We saw a completely different Louisville team for the final 20 minutes than we’ve seen arguably all year. Their effort on the defensive end was noticeable instantly, while on the offensive side of things they attacked the basket first and allowed that to open up the three-point shooting.
Louisville would go on to hit a season-high 14 three’s, shooting an incredible 50 percent, on way to a 10-point victory giving them nine wins straight. The win also marked the first time that Louisville had hit 20 wins this early in the season since 2005, a year in which they made a deep run into the NCAA tournament.
With the game in the books, let’s take one final look and see what we learned about Louisville in their comeback win over Wake Forest.