After flirting with disaster for 40 minutes, Louisville made the plays it needed to in order to escape with a 68-62 overtime victory over Old Dominion in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament from The Bahamas.
The Cards struggled offensively for nearly the entirety of the game, finishing 19 of 64 (29.7 percent) from the field and turning the ball over a season-high 14 times.
The savior of the evening was sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell, who rebounded from a 1 for 12 shooting start to make just about every key play for U of L down the stretch. He finished the night with 17 points, seven rebounds and a career-high seven steals. Quentin Snider added 18 points despite also having a subpar shooting night, finishing 4 of 13 from the field.
The task gets even tougher now for the Cardinals, who have a short turnaround before facing red-hot Wichita State in the semifinals of the tournament Thursday afternoon at 2:30. The Shockers had the benefit of playing the first game of the day, where they hammered LSU by a final score of 82-47. Michigan State and Baylor will meet in the other semifinal.
Look, we can talk about how abysmal that performance was all we want, or we can say that the national championship team gave a similar effort in its Atlantis opener four years ago (a 5-point win over Northern Iowa where several calls when U of L's way in the closing minute) and recognize the fact that this will all be forgotten if the Cards top Wichita State in about 14 hours. It's Thanksgiving, so I'm going with the latter route.
Here's your final box score. Look if you have to.