LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Welcoming a red-hot Furman to town, the Louisville basketball program was unable to overcome an inept offensive performance, falling 80-72 in overtime Friday.
Not only was this the Cardinals' first loss of the 2021-22 season, but it was their first home loss during the month of November since falling 66-57 to Vanderbilt on Nov. 30, 1972 nearly 49 years ago.
Louisville shot a putrid 36.2 percent from the floor, including 24.1 percent on three-point attempts, and just 8-21 on layups. They scored on just 42.7 percent of their 75 possessions, and were also out-rebounded 43-41.
Even with Furman as a whole shooting just 39.3 percent (24-61), they still were able to connect on 12 three-pointers and shoot 42.9 percent (12-28) from long range. Guard Mike Bothwell scored a game-high 30 points, including going 13-15 at the free throw line.
Three Cards finished in double figures, with Noah Locke leading the charge for Louisville with 20 points. Jae'Lyn Withers had 14 with nine rebounds, and Jarrod West had 10.
Like in their first game against Southern, Louisville opened up the game extremely flat on both ends of the court. Good looks not falling on offense, and the defense was allowing the Furman shooters to get wide open. This equated to the Cardinals trailing by as much as twelve in the early goings of the first half.
But after the second media timeout, Louisville started to operate with more efficiency on offense and lockdown on defense. In the final ten minutes of the half, the Cardinals shot 10-16 while holding Furman to 4-17, resulting in a 27-11 run to take a four-point lead into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, Louisville couldn't buy a basket. They connected on just one of their first 14 shots of the second half, allowing Furman to keep pace with them despite early second half shooting struggles of their own, even going up by as much as five.
The Cardinals were eventually able to fire off a 13-7 run midway through the half to take back control of the lead, but Furman was not going to go quietly into the night. Louisville's lead never got above five after jumping back in front, with the Paladins managing to tie the game at 67 with 1:07 left to force overtime.
During the extra period, it was all Furman from the jump, scoring the first seven points of overtime and out-rebounding Louisville 6-3. Locke provided the only points for the Cardinals, scoring five points on 2-4 shooting, while the rest of the team shot 0-6.
Next up, Louisville will host Navy to continue on their four-game home-stand to open the 2021-22 season. Tip-off against the Midshipmen is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
(Photo of JJ Traynor, Marcus Foster: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)
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