Louisville sophomore F Rakeem Buckles
Oct. 31, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore Rakeem Buckles had 18 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Louisville men's basketball team earned an 83-66 exhibition win over Northern Kentucky on Sunday afternoon at the new KFC Yum! Center.
Buckles, a forward from Miami, Fla., was 6-for-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line to lead the Cardinals, who shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field in the win. Dieng, a center from Kebemer, Senegal, was 6-for-8 from the field in his U of L debut, which came just five days after he was cleared by the NCAA and began practicing with the team.
"It was a good first game for us," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "We got exactly what we wanted out of the first half and then we broke down from a conditioning standpoint. We're in good shape but not in the shape to play this style of basketball. In the first half, they did a great job."
Joining Buckles and Dieng as double-figure scorers on Sunday for Louisville were senior guard Preston Knowles with 11 points and sophomore guard Mike Marra with 10 points. The Cardinals finished with a dominating 55-26 advantage on the glass, and U of L held the NCAA Division II Norse to just 36.5 percent (23-for-63) shooting from the field.
Louisville raced out to a 46-25 halftime lead after shooting 53.3 percent (16-for-30) from the field and holding NKU to just 24.2 percent (8-for-33) shooting during the first 20 minutes of action. The Cardinals cooled off a bit in the second half and saw their advantage trimmed to as little as nine (59-50, 6:09) before back-to-back three-point baskets by sophomore guard Peyton Siva and Knowles keyed an 11-2 run to push the Louisville advantage back to double-digits for good.
U of L will play its second and final exhibition game of the season on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. ET against Kentucky Wesleyan at KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals will open the regular season against 2010 NCAA runner-up Butler on Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., ET at the KFC Yum! Center.