Louisville shot 60.0 percent from the field as a team and ran away with an 86-64 victory over Prairie View A&M Sunday night in the third game of the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic for both teams.
The Cards were led by redshirt freshman forward JaeLyn Withers, who made his first eight shots from the field and finished with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds. David Johnson (19), Carlik Jones (15) and D’Andre Davis (12) all joined Withers as double figure scorers.
Louisville came out of the gate a bit listless, missing a shot or turning the ball over on seven of its first eight possessions. That futility allowed Prairie View A&M to race out to an 8-2 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish until there was 6:02 remaining in the half.
Unselfishness and a strong individual run by Withers allowed U of L to seize control before heading into the half with a 41-31 advantage. The lead never dipped below nine in the second half.
U of L bullied the undersized Panthers in the paint all evening, getting a combined 41 points on 14-of-20 shooting from the frontcourt trio of Withers, D’Andre Davis, JJ Traynor and Aidan Igiehon. Louisville also drew their less athletic guests into a whopping 27 personal fouls, allowing the Cards to outscore Prairie View by 13 points and the charity stripe.
With the win, Louisville improved to 45-0 all-time in November games played inside the Yum Center, an unblemished mark that’s will remain unblemished until at least 2021. Overall, U of L has now won 58 consecutive home games in November, a streak which dates all the way back to a loss to Vanderbilt on November 30, 1972.
The Cards have now also won back-to-back games with Bill Murray in attendance. A new era is upon us.
The opening two segments aside, this was what you wanted to see from Louisville in a game like this. It accentuated its advantages, it got solid performances from the guys who should be dominating a team from the SWAC, and it made the in-game adjustments — namely in its perimeter defense — necessary to put away an overmatched opponent without any dose of drama.
Starting Tuesday, everyone Louisville faces from this point forward is going to be fully capable to taking down the Cards. And not in an “anyone can beat anyone on any given night” type way, in a “this wouldn’t be much of a shock if U of L got knocked off” type way.