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Louisville 87 EKU 56 Cardinals Smother Colonels

Cardinals use withering defense to put the Colonels away in the first half.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The chum of the pre-conference season behind it, the Louisville basketball team has unquestionably accomplished one thing: establishing a team identity. The 2016-17 Louisville basketball team will be choppy on offense, get big scoring nights from different guys on different nights, but every night this Louisville team will weary opponents with its ability to defend. Saturday afternoon’s 87-56 win over Eastern Kentucky was no different.

An extended defensive shutout by Louisville helped put this one away before the teams even hit the locker rooms at halftime. After opening the game by hitting its first 5 of 8 from the field, EKU was tied with Louisville 16-16 with 7:26 remaining in the first half. It wouldn’t score another point until the 18:06 mark of the second half. In that time, Louisville went from being tied to leading 42-16 and the game was never in doubt. The Cardinals blocked nine shots during the Colonels’ 8:28 scoring drought alone.

With the win, Louisville improves to 10-1 on the season with Wednesday night’s home matchup with Kentucky next up on the schedule. This will be the seventh consecutive season Louisville enters the Kentucky matchup with a single loss.