Nov 9, 2013, 3:30 PM EST
Louisville opened its season with a 70-48 win over Charleston on Saturday afternoon in a home win, but it wasn’t always as easy as the score would appear.
The defending champion Cardinals came into the game without suspended forward Chane Behanan or injured wing Luke Hancock and both could return soon but for awhile the Cougars gave Louisville a scare.
Louisville only led 29-27 at the break and Charleston big man Adjehi Baru was on the bench with foul trouble. But Louisville figured things out in the second half enough to pull out the victory at home to open the season.
The guard duo of Russ Smith (21 points) and Chris Jones (12 points) led four Cardinals scorers in double-figures as Wayne Blackshear (11 points) and Montrezl Harrell also are included.
Louisville only led by five points with 7:36 left in the game before blowing the game open with its press and athleticism.
The win showed that even on a slow or off night, Louisville is so balanced that they can usually right the ship if they get some easy baskets off of turnovers. Jones, Blackshear and Smith all had at least 13 field goal attempts against Charleston and with the return of two key rotation players like Behanan and Hancock — as well as more offense from Montrezl Harrell — Louisville should have plenty of scoring this season.
- Harvard wraps up third consecutive NCAA tournament berth (VIDEO) 0
- Weekend Preview: The regular season comes to a close 1
- For the first time in months, No. 22 Michigan State and Keith Appling look healthy 5
- Senior starters once again carry No. 15 Cincinnati 0
- Doug McDermott’s career still missing most important part: His One Shining Moment 0
- Bryce Cotton, Providence’s marathon man, looking to lead the Friars on a run to the NCAA tournament 0
- Bubble Banter: Colorado, Dayton the day’s biggest winners 1
- Undefeated regular season says all we need to know about No. 2 Wichita State (9)
- No. 7 Syracuse falls to Georgia Tech in a shocking home loss (9)
- Finally at full strength, Michigan State sleepwalks through loss to Illinois (6)
- Kentucky hits rock bottom, loses at South Carolina (6)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest Top 25 (6)