LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore Gorgui Deing scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the University of Louisville to a 74-55 win in its exhibition opener over the University of Pikeville Wednesday night.
The game was played in front of 18,866 at the KFC Yum! Center.
UPike, which opens the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center when Union College comes to town, didn’t shoot to its expectations on the night, hitting only 29.2 percent overall and 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from the arc.
Louisville, which will open its season on Nov. 11 when Tennessee-Martin comes to the Yum! Center, struggled as well, hitting 41.2 percent overall and only 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) from the arc.
Both teams started slowly on the offensive end, with the first field goal of the game coming on a Peyton Siva layup with 17:05 left in the opening half. The Cards scored the game’s first 16 points, with UPike finally getting on the scoreboard when junior Trevor Setty found senior Andrew Young for a layin with 13:21 left in the half.
Pikeville battled, however, with Young’s bucket beginning an 18-8 run to cut the lead to six when senior Chris Puckett nailed a three with 8:03 to play in the half. The Bears were within six again after senior Chris McHenry nailed a three with 2:28 to play to make it 33-27, but the Cards scored six of the final seven points of the half to lead 39-28.
It turned out that the second-half lead would be no fewer than 11 for Rick Pitino’s club, which finally stretched the lead to 20 at 71-51 with 2:50 left on a bucket by freshman Zach Price before settling for the 19-point win.
Freshman Chane Behanan led all scorers with 16 points. Deing followed with senior Chris Smith finishing with 13.
Pikeville had one player in double figures as McHenry tossed in 12, hitting 3-of-7 from the arc. Young and Setty followed with eight each.
Pikeville forced 14 Cardinal turnovers with nine steals in the loss and was beaten on the glass 55-43.
Saturday’s basketball game will begin at 7 p.m. It will be preceded by a banner ceremony where many basketball titles will be commemorated in the rafters of the Expo Center, including the 2011 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, won last March in Kansas City, Mo.