Preview: Southern Illinois at Louisville
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[November 21, 2017]
No. 18 Louisville might have an
unblemished record, but its play through two games has been anything
but perfect. The Cardinals will look to straighten things out
Tuesday night as they host Southern Illinois.
Following an uninspiring 72-61 win over George Mason to open the
season, Louisville burst out to a 15-point halftime lead against
winless Omaha before allowing 53 second-half points and holding on
for a nine-point triumph. Deng Adel had 21 points and Ray Spalding
added a career-best 19 points and 11 rebounds in a game that left
interim head coach David Padgett crestfallen. "We played 20 minutes
of pretty darn good basketball, and we played 20 minutes of
embarrassing basketball," Padgett told reporters afterward. "We've
got to find a way to play with a lead." Look for the Cardinals to do
a better job of that against the Salukis, who are also unbeaten but
had little margin for error in a 69-64 win over Division II
Illinois-Springfield last time out.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (2-0): Four Salukis players average at least
12.5 points per game, led by Armon Fletcher and his 14 ppg. Junior
center Kavion Pippen is next in line at 13 ppg and has been the
team's anchor on defense, averaging a team-best 8.5 rebounds while
recording three blocks in each of his first two games this season.
The team's top five scorers are all shooting better than 52 percent
from the floor, but starting guard Sean Lloyd Jr. isn't one of them
after missing all eight of his field-goal attempts en route to a
zero-point showing against Illinois-Springfield.
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ABOUT LOUISVILLE (2-0): Padgett has plenty to work on moving
forward, but he might want to start with ball movement; the
Cardinals have just 25 assists on 54 made field goals, with their
12.5 assist-per-game average ranking outside the top 240 in Division
I. Adel, who averaged 12.1 points as a sophomore, is at 20.5 ppg
through two games on 64-percent shooting after going 7-of-8 from the
field against Omaha. Seven-foot Egyptian forward Anas Mahmoud has
also been a solid contributor, averaging eight points, 8.3 rebounds
and five blocks; he swatted eight shots in just 22 minutes in the
win over Omaha.
1. Louisville blocked 15 shots vs. Omaha, its highest single-game
total since 2003.
2. The Cardinals have won their last 20 home games vs.
3. Mahmoud has 17 blocked shots over his past five games dating back
to last season.
PREDICTION: Louisville 80, Southern Illinois 67
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