Louisville got a bit of good news Sunday in its easy 80-39 win over Miami of Ohio. After shooting poorly from behind the three-point line in their first two games, the Cardinals hit 12 of 26 threes for 46.2 percent in the 41-point blowout.
In its two previous games, Rick Pitino’s club had made just 15 of 61 of its three attempts — eight-of-30 against Manhattan in the season opener and seven-of-31 against Samford on Thursday night.
It was a different story at the Yum Center on Sunday as eight of Louisville’s first nine field goals were three-pointers as the Cards built a 41-17 halftime lead.
Wayne Blackshear who had made just two of his 13 three-point attempts in the first two games, drilled four of seven from behind the stripe on Sunday.
Peyton Siva, one-of-seven from three-point land in the first two games, made two of his three attempts from three on Sunday.
Russ Smith continued to shoot well from three. The guard was eight-of-20 coming into the game and made five of seven. He led the Cards with 23 points on Sunday.
The lone exception to the hot shooting was the still-cold Luke Hancock, the transfer from George Mason, who continues to struggle from long-range. Hancock missed all five of his three-point attempts on Sunday is now three-of-24 on the season. That’s 12.5 percent. He is five-of-29 from the floor overall. That’s 17.2 percent.
On the bright side, Hancock had four assists on Sunday.
And afterward, Pitino was quick to stress that three-point shooting was not why Louisville won going away.
“We are a defensive team,” he said. “We win with our defense. If we shoot like we did tonight, everything looks great. Shooting, without question, cures a multitude of sins. … That is not us. I am happy we shot it well. I am happy we moved the ball well, but we win because of defense.”
Next up for the Cards is the Battle of Atlantis, the Bahamas tournament which includes the second-ranked Cards, No. 9 Duke, No. 14 Missouri, No. 18 Memphis, Stanford, VCU and Minnesota.