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Seedy K’s GameCap: Western Kentucky

Off the schneid.


And, oh how much more fun it is to write about Kenny Payne’s first victory as U of L Coach.

University of Louisville Cardinals 94, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 83.

* * * * *

At the tilt’s first media stoppage, the game was knotted at 7.

At the next TV timeout, the Cardinals, as has been their wont, had fallen behind. 10-18.

Then something different this way came.

Jae’Lyn Withers deuce.


Fabio Basili layup off an El Ellis drive and dish.

WKU dunk.

Traded turnovers.

Basili drive and tally.


Ellis two FTs.

JJ Traynor steal.

El Ellis triple.

WKU two.

El Ellis threeball.

Media timeout.

In the 3:44 interlude, instead of folding, the Cards turned the game in their favor. The sequence included a 7-0 run and five made FGs in a row.

Best sequence of the season?


Most important sequence of the season so far?

Ab So Friggin’ Lutely.

* * * * *

The Cardinals finished the half on an 11-2 run.

In style.

A Brandon Huntley-Hatfield long ball at the shot clock on a feed from Ellis.

Then the panache was manifest.

The visitors scored with :14 to go before intermission.

But JJ went String Music Yum! Center from distance at the buzzer.

The Cards ebulliently trotted to the locker room up 11 at the break.

To the loudest C A R D S cheer of the campaign.

(Oh, how easy it is to wax easy peasy breezy after a WIN.)

* * * * *

To cement that Wednesday night was The Night of No Nightmares, U of L scored on five of it first six possessions of the 2d.

A Curry two on a feed from Withers.

A Huntley-Hatfield deuce in the paint.

Kamari Lands all net from beyond the arc, on another Jae’Lyn assist.

Then JW scored a fast break deuce on a feed from EE.

And BH-H added to the advantage with a +1 conversion off another Ellis assist.

The last of which plays pushed this year’s Cards into unknown territory.

+19 with 16:34 left.

* * * * *

Though the Cards got somewhat tweedly, a smidge stagnant, and understandably nervous near the end against Western’s press and trapping zone and previous failures, they never relinquished the lead.

In fact, never allowed the losing Toppers to cut their disadvantage to single digits.

In the last three minutes, U of L showed significant mettle draining all ten of its charity tosses. (U of L was 19/20 on the night at the stripe.)

Louisville was 31/57 from the field. 54%.

That included a truly heady 13/25 three-pointers. 52%.

While holding WKU to nine percentage points below their treyball average, which was 2d in the land coming in.

* * * * *

Live by the El, die by the El.

Against the Bowling Greeners, it was the former.

30 points (10/19), 10 assists, 4 boards. And 5 (fortunately) inconsequential turnovers.

Sidney “Welcome Back, It’s Good To See You Again” Curry: 10 points, 6 rebounds.

Kamari Lands. 15 points.

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. 11 points.

Jae’Lyn Withers 10 and 6 with 3 assists, after a less than stellar start.

JJ Traynor 8 and 4.

Fabio Basili scored only 6, but one fellow’s opinion, gave the Cards that necessary spark instigating the first half breakaway.

(Do you understand how wonderful it is to write stuff like this, instead of woe is us, what the fazook is goin’ on?)

All this as a seven point dog against an 8-1 in- state rival. Admittedly, the Toppers haven’t played against the toughest of schedules, but have bested two schools that got the better of the Cards.

* * * * *

Next: Florida A&M.

— c d kaplan