Louisville locks down Manhattan in opener
by C.L. Brown, USA TODAY Sports
The No. 2 University of Louisville held Manhattan to one basket in the game’s first 12 minutes and never looked back in its 79-51 season-opening victory Sunday in the KFC Yum! Center.
U of L sophomore guard Russ Smith, who made three of his first five 3-point attempts, at one point had single handedly outscored the Jaspers (0-1) 12-9. Smith finished with a game-high 23 points.
Manhattan played without George Beamon, who led the team in scoring last season and was voted the Metro Atlantic preseason Player of the Year. Beamon injured an ankle in practice on Friday U of L center Gorgui Dieng took himself out the game by picking up two fouls in the game’s first two minutes. Dieng was called for setting a moving pick and went over the back trying to get a rebound.
Dieng played just three minutes in the first half and the Cards suffered. U of L had a 20-14 rebounding deficit in the first half and offensively it seemed to settle for perimeter shots without his presence inside against the Jaspers’ zone.
That changed in the second half when Dieng made the first two baskets on jumpers from the elbow. Dieng loosened up the zone enough to feed a pass from the high post to Chane Behanan for a dunk. Dieng accounted for nine of the Cards first 12 points in the second half.
Behanan, who sat out the Cards two exhibition games, scored eight points and had a team-high nine rebounds.
Peyton Siva added a double-double for U of L with 10 points and 10 assists.
C.L. Brown writes for The Courier-Journal.