Louisville was down three with just over three and a half minutes to go in the game when Luke Hancock passed it to Russ Smith for the open three. Hancock then stole the ball from in inbound pass a little over a minute later, from that point he scored Louisville’s next eight points (including two threes) and sealed the win for the Cardinals against a pesky Manhattan Jaspers team.
Luke Hancock finished the game with 16 points, four steals, four rebounds and four assists. Big players make big plays in key moments, Hancock was that player tonight to help Louisville to survive and advance.
It was interesting watching Louisville play against a mini version of themselves. Manhattan’s coach Steve Masiello, who was an assistant and a player under Rick Pitino, had his team prepared. Every time the Cardinals made an adjustment, the Jaspers countered. Pitino was so proud after the game of Masiello. Said it was one of the best coaching jobs he has ever seen.
Louisville shot poorly, most of the shots were forced by the guards. They only made one three the entire game until Russ Smith’s late three. There was several moments they didn’t even look close to the team that won the AAC Tournament by blowing teams out.
Russ Smith was Louisville’s leading scorer with 18, although he shot 3-9 from the field. He made 11 of his 15 free throws.
Montrezl Harrell finished with another double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds. He also had four monster blocks.
Louisville out rebounded Manhattan 42-31, 16 rebounds were offensive rebounds.
The Cardinals will play St. Louis Saturday in the third-round. Game starts at 2:45pm on CBS.
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