As Louisville heads into tonight’s 9:30 matchup with Missouri in a semifinal game of the Battle of Atlantis, the Cardinals are still having a difficult time making shots.
Rick Pitino’s team continued their dud deliveries, shooting just 30.6 percent in its 51-46 first-round win over Northern Iowa on Thursday night. The Cards were just 19-of-62 from the field and five-of-22 from behind the three-point line while running their record to 4-0.
It was the second time in four games the Cards have shot south of 40 percent. It was the third time in four games Louisville has shot less than 30 percent from three-point range. As well, the Cards averaged just 0.770 points per possession against Northern Iowa, its lowest PPP of the year.
Louisville’s one-saving grace is rebounding. The Cards grabbed 47.7 percent of their offensive rebound opportunities against Northern Iowa and outrebounded the Panthers by 18. Over their last three games, the Cardinals are a whopping +60 in rebound margin.
Louisville also held NIU to 0.684 points per possession, the fourth straight game in which Pitino’s defense has held the opponent under 0.8 points per possession. Anything under a 1.0 is considered good defense.
And poor Luke Hancock’s shooting struggles continue. The transfer from George Mason missed four of his five three-point attempts last night in the Bahamas. On the season, Hancock has made just four of 29 three-point attempts for a miserable 13.8 percent.
Missouri reached the semifinals thanks to a 78-70 win over Stanford. Laurence Bowers scored 19 points to lead the 4-0 Tigers. Phil Pressey pitched in 18 points. Missouri shot just 36.6 percent in its win.
Battle for Atlantis Tournament
- VCU 78, Memphis 65
- Duke 89, Minnesota 71
- Missouri 78, Stanford 70
- Louisville 51, Northern Iowa 46
- VCU vs. Duke (winner’s semifinal)
- Louisville vs. Missouri (winner’s semifinal)
- Memphis vs. Minnesota (loser’s semifinal)
- Stanford vs. Northern Iowa (loser’s semifinal)