The Louisville basketball team squeezed out a nail-biter over Seton Hall.
If you feel like throwing up after just game two of the season, I am certain you are not alone.
The Louisville basketball team edged out Seton Hall 71-70 in one of college basketball’s best early season games.
The Cardinals coughed up an 11 point lead they had with just over eight minutes to go in the second half as the Pirates came roaring back led by forward Sandro Mamukelashvili‘s 22 points and 10 rebounds.
I said in our preview that Mamu would be a very difficult matchup for this team and that held to be very true. He is a guy that could very well make national headlines this year for his level of play.
The game went back and forth as Louisville’s redshirt freshman Jae’Lyn Withers and true freshman JJ Traynor made huge shots for the Cardinals in crunch time.
Quinn Slazinski fouled Seton Hall guard Takal Molson on a three-point attempt that was a questionable call with less than a second left. Molson made the first two free throws and missed the last as the Cards went on to win by one point.
There were some very important storylines in this thriller. We were able to learn a lot about this team and what there is to expect moving forward.
Let’s dive in to three takeaways from the victory over Seton Hall.
Freshmen steal the show
Dre’ Davis. Jae’Lyn Withers. JJ Traynor. Those three were a monumental reason that Louisville was able to put away this resume-building victory today. They were huge in clutch moments and they stepped up to the plate as the game went on.
Davis fouled out of the game late with 11 points and 5 boards.
Withers finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Traynor finished his day with the four biggest points of the entire game that led directly to the Louisville victory.
That’s big-time by three guys that are all suiting up for just the second time in their careers in a Louisville uniform.
Carlik Jones was good but the ball was not in his hands down the stretch too much. Chris Mack trusted his freshmen in crunch-time and they came up huge.
Withers was much-improved after a rough looking first half performance. He showed his pedigree and athleticism on the offensive end making strong takes to the rim and smart, creative passes for a big man. He only had one rebound in the first half, but he grabbed five in the second.
Davis was excellent on defense once again on the ball. I will go on record to say that he has a legitimate chance at being an All-ACC defensive player by the time he is done in Louisville. The deep range shot has not been going down for him in the early goings of the season, but he was smart with his drives today going into the body of bigger defenders in the paint and finishing with contact. Despite fouling out, it was another splendid performance for Davis.
Traynor was a solid presence defensively once again. He was not the most noticeable player on the floor through 39 minutes. But, in that last minute, Traynor put back his own missed shot for two to go up one and then, on the ensuing possession, nailed two free throws to put the game away for the Cardinals. It was an awesome display of poise for a true freshman who has been pushed into significant playing time due to Malik Williams’ injury.
What a confidence booster for these three guys moving forward. There is so much to be excited about with them.