Louisville plagued by inconsistency in win over Georgia Tech
Louisville men’s basketball has tried different lineups and styles of play, but still can’t avoid lulls that plague the team that sits atop the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Cardinals played a lackluster first half and fell behind by 11 points in the second half to Georgia Tech before rallying for a 68-64 victory at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 22.
Louisville went on a game-clinching 15-2 run late in the second half to lead by 11 points before the visitors answered with a 10-0 run during a Cardinal scoring drought that lasted more than four minutes. It took three free throws from Malik Williams and two defensive stops for Louisville to seal its fifth straight win.
Coach Chris Mack was pleased his team found a way to win by making plays down the stretch, but is still looking for a way to avoid the in-game slumps.
“We’ve had different times where the funk is to start the game, or it’s to end the half,” Mack said. “That’s why we’re going to continue to practice and we’re going to figure this thing out.”
The Cardinals had a poor first half against Georgia Tech, trailing by six points after shooting 41.4 percent from the field and committing eight turnovers. Williams, who finished with 13 points and six rebounds, said everyone in the arena can tell when Louisville isn’t playing right.
“It’s just lackadaisical play,” Williams said. “Sometimes when we start games we don’t have the same juice and pump that we need to have.”
Michael Devoe made a 3-pointer to extend Georgia Tech’s lead to 11 points less than two minutes into the second half, but Louisville methodically climbed back into the game. Steven Enoch made a pair of free throws with 11:10 left to tie the game at 47-47.
Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble gave Louisville its first lead since early in the first half with a driving layup with 7:33 left.
Although Louisville held off Georgia Tech’s final run, the Cardinals are still seeking answers to find more consistent play.
“I’m not sure what it is,” Perry said. “I just know we start one half slow, we either start the first half slow or the second half slow, then we pick it up later. We can’t keep doing that, we have to play a full 40-minute game to beat good teams.”