LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Rick Pitino and the 20th-ranked
Louisville Cardinals have a lot to work on.
Edgar Sosa scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half and No.
20 Louisville beat East Tennessee State 69-56 on Saturday.
The Cardinals won despite shooting just 36.4 percent, including
just 6 of 30 from beyond the 3-point line. Louisville used an 18-0
run in the first half to turn a three-point deficit into a 25-10
"We took a lot of challenged shots," Pitino said.
Sosa was one of the few Louisville players to shoot well in the
first half. He only missed one of his five shots, including hitting
four 3-pointers. The rest of the Cardinals were just 8-for-26
before the break.
Louisville (2-0) also played most of the first half without
Samardo Samuels, who committed two fouls in the first seven
minutes. While he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Pitino
thought the sophomore center and his teammates could have performed
better on the boards. Both teams grabbed 44 rebounds, but the
Buccaneers had a 30-19 edge in the second half.
"I'm not pleased with anybody rebounding the baskeball,"
Justin Tubbs led the Buccaneers (1-3) with 18 points and Micah
Williams added 12. ETSU was without senior Mike Smith, who averaged
15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds last season for the Atlantic Sun
conference tournament champions.
"I'm not pleased losing, but obviously for our team it was a
step up," ETSU coach Murry Bartows said.
The game served as the home opener for Louisville and the final
one at Freedom Hall, Louisville's home court since 1956.
Louisville, which was the last ranked team to start the season,
started a stretch of three home games in as many days, as part of
the Hall of Fame Showcase.
Freedom Halls lack of availability, especially early in the
season, is one of the reasons why Louisville will open next season
in a new arena, currently under construction in the citys downtown.