Louisville blog Card Chronicle has all the post-game analysis on tonight’s game.
Samardo Samuels compiled 23 points and 12 rebounds, as 20th-ranked Louisville got by a gritty Morgan State squad, 90-81, at Freedom Hall.
Preston Knowles chipped in 13 points, five boards, five assists and four steals for Louisville (3-0), which is in the midst of three games in as many days.
“The one thing this basketball team is not going to do is fatigue. They could possibly mentally fatigue but our practices are very difficult so they are not going to fatigue,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of the demanding stretch.
Edgar Sosa added 12 points and Jared Swopshire nine with as many rebounds.
Dewayne Jackson knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 21 points to lead Morgan State (3-1), which was off to an unblemished start this year after winning the 2009 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship.
Kevin Thompson posted 16 points and 13 rebounds while Rodney Stokes and Joe Davis each scored 10 in the setback.
“I just told my team that all this means is that we’re not going to go undefeated. We just have to come back and get ready for the next game,” said Morgan State head coach Todd Bozeman. “Louisville is a very good team. They’re going to have an outstanding season, I’m just glad we don’t have to play them again.”
Louisville entered the second half with a 15-point advantage, but the Cardinals were up only five, 65-60, after Jackson hit a pair at the line and followed with a three-pointer.
Knowles answered with a three-ball of his own but the Bears kept hanging around as another Jackson three dropped for a 74-67 game with six minutes to play.
The Cardinals began to pull away, though, with four successful trips to the line during an ensuing 10-2 surge that ran the score back to their original halftime margin at 84-69 approaching four minutes to play.
“Our guys did a really good job tonight of driving and getting to the foul line. That was the difference. Last night we were shooting jump shots. When teams respect your shooting so much and they close out on you, you have to drive and dish. Our guys realized the mistake they made the night before and corrected it,” added Pitino.
Troy Smith hit a bucket for the visitors to halt the momentum, but couldn’t connect from long distance moments after Samuels went 1-of-2 at the line.
Peyton Siva’s two free throws with 1:45 to go helped the hosts to a 16-point lead as Morgan State buried a couple of late jump shots to no avail.
The Cardinals got off to a decent start as Mike Marra’s three and a Terrence Jennings layup had the hosts in front 26-18 midway through the opening half.
The Bears, though, rattled off the next seven points and pulled to within one on a Jackson triple with a shade under 7 1/2 remaining. Morgan State was still within five, 37-32, on a Stokes jumper with four minutes left.
Louisville responded with back-to-back jumpers from Samuels and ended the half on a 9-2 run to lead by 15, 50-35, at the break.
Louisville won the only previous meeting between these two teams, thrashing the Bears in a 95-47 final back on December 30, 1998…Louisville hosts Appalachian State on Monday while the Bears travel to play Arkansas Tuesday…The Cardinals shot 41.9 percent from the field while Morgan State was close behind at 40.8 percent shooting. While Jackson had his four three- pointers on eight attempts, the rest of the Bears shot 1-for-12 from three- point land…Louisville made 5-of-12 threes…Siva also had nine points for the Cardinals, while Reggie Holmes and Smith each scored nine for Morgan State.