Louisville trailed from start to finish on Saturday in an 82-72 road loss to Western Kentucky where the hosts appeared clearly superior to the visitors from start to finish. The Cards have now lost three of their last five and are a very shaky 7-4 heading into Wednesday night’s rivalry game against Kentucky in Lexington.
While U of L’s issues for most of this young season have resided on the offensive end, on Saturday, it was the Cardinal defense that let it down.
Louisville allowed the Hilltoppers to knock down eight of their first nine three-point attempts and shoot 50 percent from both beyond the arc and the field overall for the game. The ‘Tops shot 80.6 percent (25-of-31) from the free-throw line for good measure.
Chris Mack’s team managed to cut a 14 point lead all the way down to two early in the second half, but the home team promptly answered with a 10-2 run and things were never really interesting again after that.
Noah Locke scored 20 points to lead the way for a Louisville team that finished 13-of-36 (36.1%) from three. Mason Faulkner came off the bench to chip in 12 and Matt Cross scored 10.
Let’s just be blunt: This team simply isn’t very good at the moment, and unlike in past years where U of L has had a shaky run through non-conference play, there isn’t a whole lot right now that points to the potential of things getting markedly better in the months ahead.
In seven weeks, Louisville has lost a November home game for the first time in Yum Center history and the first time overall since 1951, lost a road game against Western Kentucky for the first time since 1950, and lost to DePaul for the first time in history (look it up).
We’re not exactly riding a wave of momentum into the Battle of the Bluegrass.