Kentucky 40 -30 – 70
Louisville 39 – 34 – 73
The highly anticipated game between No. 6 Kentucky and No. 10 Louisville lived up to the hype from an excitement standpoint, with neither team leading by more than seven points at any stage in the game. Ultimately it was hometown kid Quentin Snider who had the greatest impact on the game, as he led all scorers with 22 points to lead Louisville (11-1) to the 73-70 victory.
Snider, who shot 10-for-10 from the field, also tallied six points and five assists. Deng Adel added 18 points for the Cardinals, who ended a four-game losing streak in the series with the victory, with Jaylen Johnson (14 points, six rebounds) and Donovan Mitchell (13 points) also scoring in double figures. Point guard De’Aaron Fox led Kentucky with 21 points, but the Wildcats (10-2) were out of sync offensively for much of the night due to poor shot selection and the Louisville defense.
Malik Monk, who scored 47 points in Saturday’s win over North Carolina in Las Vegas, finished with 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting (1-for-8 3PT) and didn’t make his first three-pointer until there were 41.1 seconds remaining in the game. Monk missed a three that would have tied the game with 3.2 seconds remaining, and Louisville ran out the clock after collecting the rebound. Bam Adebayo joined Fox and Monk in double figures with 11 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds. Kentucky shot just 39.7 percent from the field and 5-for-22 from three, and their 19-for-29 night from the foul line didn’t help matters either.
Louisville finished the game shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 6-for-14 from three, and they were also 15-for-20 from the foul line. Below are breakdowns of each segment of the game, with highlights being added as they become available.
Under-16 Timeout (13:52)
This game got off to the fast, furious start that fans were hoping for, with Louisville having some trouble keeping Kentucky out of transition after made baskets. The speed of De’Aaron Fox with the ball in his hands is something that’s difficult to truly replicate in game preparation, but there were also some breakdowns on Louisville’s part with regards to getting back on defense. The Cardinals got better in that department as the first segment continued, and Quentin Snider leads all scorers with seven points. Malik Monk leads Kentucky with six points.
Under-12 Timeout (11:07)
Louisville entered the game struggling to hit perimeter shots on a consistent basis. Through the first 8:53 of this matchup that hasn’t been the case, as the Cardinals are 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Deng Adel is 2-for-2 from deep thus far, with his second three extending the current Louisville run to 8-0. Also of note during this segment are the good minutes being provided by reserve forwards Anas Mahmoud and Raymond Spalding. Kentucky’s transition game hasn’t been as much of an issue, with those two hitting the offensive boards (three combined offensive rebounds) and doing a solid job defensively as well.
Under-8 Timeout (7:55)
Kentucky went more than four minutes without a point, with Louisville taking advantage with a 10-0 run before a Derek Willis baseline jumper pulled the Wildcats to within two (24-22). Defensively the Wildcats have struggled with Louisville’s high screen and roll action, with the Louisville guards being able to turn the corner and get their offense going off the bounce. Shooting just 38 percent from the field, Kentucky’s made just two of its last ten shots.
Under-4 Timeout (3:21)
Kentucky answered Louisville’s 10-0 run with a 9-0 run of its own, ultimately taking a 31-29 lead on a Fox breakaway dunk. Two Spalding free throws tied the score at 31 apiece, with Spalding and Mahmoud continuing to play well for the Cardinals off the bench. Spalding’s up to six points, six rebounds and two blocks, while Mahmoud has contributed two rebounds and two blocks. Fox (Kentucky) and Snider (Louisville) are the leading scorers with nine points apiece.
Defending ball screens and dribble handoffs will be the key adjustment for Kentucky to make at the half, as issues there helped spark much of what Louisville was able to do offensively. It’s also worth noting that Kentucky played without Monk for the final 8:44 of the first half, as Coach Calipari made the decision to sit the freshman after he picked up his second foul. For Louisville continuing to get back in transition will be a point of emphasis; Kentucky was credited with just eight fast break points but there were multiple possessions where the Wildcats were able to use their speed to score off of Louisville made baskets.
Fox leads all scorers with 14 points, making five of his eleven field goal attempts, while Snider is pacing Louisville with 13 points. Kentucky’s shooting just 39 percent from the field to Louisville’s 47 percent, but ten fast break points for the Wildcats have helped push them into the lead at the intermission.
Under-16 Timeout (15:36)
Louisville’s scored eight of the first 11 points of the second half, with Jaylen Johnson responsible for four of the points and Snider three. Snider, a native of Louisville who’s the all-time leading scorer at Ballard HS, has been the Cardinals’ best player tonight. Kentucky’s still having some issues defensively, and outside of a runout that ended with a Monk three-point play they haven’t been able to get anything going on the offensive end of the floor.
Under-12 Timeout (10:09)
Bam Adebayo only has eight points on the night, but four have come on incredibly powerful dunks on Mahmoud. That’s a matchup Kentucky may need to look to more, with Mahmoud unable to deal with Adebayo’s physical strength. Playing inside-out has worked of late for Kentucky, with Adebayo passing out to Mychal Mulder who hit a three to tie the game at 51-all. Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe has been on the bench since picking up his fourth foul with 12:54 remaining in the half, and without him it will be interesting to see how the young Wildcats deal with the rising pressure of their first true road game of the season.
Kentucky’s been better offensively in the second half when Adebayo is directly involved, either by getting the ball in the post or by setting a high ball screen for Fox. Adebayo has just four points in the second half, but him being a credible option has changed the way that Louisville defends in the half court and has resulted in other players getting decent shots. The issue for both teams has been the rate at which they’re making shots, with Kentucky shooting 37.5 percent from the field in the second half and Louisville even worse at 31.3 percent.
The Cardinals regained control of the game during this segment, getting to the rim on a regular basis on offense while forcing Kentucky to take challenged shots on the other. Monk’s continued to struggle offensively for Kentucky, shooting 5-for-14 from the field in scoring his 13 points and playing with nowhere near the efficiency he displayed against North Carolina. Part of that is due to him forcing things, but the biggest reason has been Louisville’s defense. Snider and Adel are leading the way offensively for the Cardinals with 18 points apiece.
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