The Kentucky-Louisville rivalry has its next great chapter. Behind a great effort from junior point guard Quentin Snider, Louisville outlasted John Calipari’s Wildcats 73-70 in front of a raucous home crowd at the KFC Yum! Center.
Louisville entered with the No. 1 defense in the country, and the Cardinals proved it on Wednesday. One game after Kentucky’s freshman star Malik Monk scored 47 points against North Carolina, Louisville held him to 16 points and 1-of-9 shooting from three-point range. As a team, Kentucky shot just 39.7 percent from the field.
Louisville rode a balanced scoring attack with four starters in double-figures. Snider led the way with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists. It was the first time a Louisville player had reached the 20-point plateau all year.
Kentucky was led by a strong effort from freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox, who had 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field.
This was a great game. Here are three things we learned from Kentucky-Louisville:
Quentin Snider and Deng Adel came through in a big way
Louisville was always going to need to some outstanding individual performances to hang with Kentucky. The Cards got them from Snider and Adel on Wednesday.
Snider, a junior point guard, played like the savvy, composed veteran he is. Snider entered the game as Louisville’s leading three-point shooter with 19 makes from deep, and he added two more triples to that total in this game.
Adel was pegged by many as a breakout player before the year, and he lived up to that hype against Kentucky. He was too big for Kentucky’s three guard attack all night and also helped keep Louisville alive on the glass through the night.
Adel finished with 18 points and six rebounds in the win.
Bam Adebayo finally had his coming out party
A major difference between last season’s Kentucky team and this season’s group was supposed to be the physical presence inside of Edrice “Bam” Adebayo. Adebayo was a consensus top 10 recruit as a 240-pound bully known for his powerful dunks, but he failed to make a huge impression during Kentucky’s 10-1 start.
That changed vs. Louisville:
Adebayo made his first five shots from the field on his way to 11 points and nine rebounds. This was the best game of his college career and Kentucky needs more of it going forward.
Louisville will enjoy this win for a long time
Kentucky had won eight of the last nine meetings between the two programs. Our Mike Rutherford wrote about why this rivalry is one of the most heated in all of sports. If only one game matters all year in the state of Kentucky, the Cards sure are glad they won it.