No. 24 Louisville shellacks Grand Canyon 111-63
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Damion Lee matched his season-high with 24 points, Trey Lewis added 16 and No. 24 Louisville used a 26-3 first-half run to break away from Grand Canyon and coast to a 111-63 blowout on Saturday.
Three days after letting a lead slip away late in a 71-67 loss at No. 3 Michigan State, the Cardinals (6-1) rebounded big against the overmatched Antelopes (6-1).
Buoyed by 64 percent shooting in the first half, Louisville turned a 12-12 game into a 38-15 lead and poured it on to break 100 points for the first time since Feb. 16, 2014, against Rutgers.
Lee shot 7 of 13 from the field, including four 3-pointers, as Louisville made 38 of 70 for their sixth 50-percent shooting effort in seven games.
Joshua Braun scored 15 points for Grand Canyon, which shot 37 percent and was outrebounded 55-20.
Donovan Mitchell had 13 points and seven rebounds while Quentin Snider had 12 points and eight assists for Louisville, which owned the paint 46-24 and scored 25 points off 15 Grand Canyon turnovers.
The Antelopes’ only bright spot came early behind a spirited effort against a retooled Louisville lineup.
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino started Mangok Mathiang (seven points) and freshman Ray Spalding (eight points, seven rebounds) instead of Chinanu Onuaku (10 points) and Jaylen Johnson. Grand Canyon wasn’t awed by the bigger Cardinals, with Grandy Glaze slamming home their first basket against the 6-foot-10 Mathiang and Uros Ljeskovic making a follow layup against bigger defenders.
Good ball movement helped Gerard Martin catch Louisville out of position and get open to hit a 3-pointer for a 7-5 lead, and the Antelopes battled to a 12-all tie before the Cardinals erupted for a big run keyed by near-perfect shooting.
Louisville made 13 of its first 14 shots from the field leading to 14 straight points during the surge for a 38-15 lead with 9:46 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals cooled off to 64 percent shooting for a 61-30 halftime lead, their biggest 20 minutes since Nov. 18, 2006, against Northwestern State.
Louisville opened the second half with a 10-0 run and Grand Canyon coach Dan Majerle, a former Phoenix Suns great, could only watch as his team’s deficit reached 55 points with 3 minutes left.
Grand Canyon: The Antelopes entered with an average victory margin of 18 points. Their start included Thursday night’s 75-72 win over Central Michigan, Majerle’s alma mater. ... Grand Canyon will host next season’s meeting in Phoenix in the middle leg of its three-game series with Louisville.
Louisville: The Cardinals registered nine blocks. ... Pitino went tieless for a change, sporting a gray suit with light gray shirt and white collar.
Grand Canyon hosts Southern on Tuesday.
Louisville hosts Eastern Michigan on Dec. 12.