LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Samford University basketball team dropped its season-opening matchup at the Louisville Cardinals on Friday, Nov. 13 as the Bulldogs only shot 21 percent from the field and 16 percent from 3-point range in an 86-45 decision held at the KFC Yum! Center.
“We knew that with their athleticism, their length and their size that we couldn’t really play the way that we like to play,” said Samford head coach and former UK standout Scott Padgett (pictured with U of L coach Rick Pitino). “We’re a team that really likes to get up and down in transition, but we knew that if we tried to do that, it would end up the way it did tonight.”
Samford (0-1) was paced offensively by sophomore point guard and ex-Lexington Henry Clay High School player Christen Cunningham, who scored a game-high 15 points and also led the Bulldogs with six rebounds in 33 minutes of playing time. Cunningham, Samford’s Southern Conference All-Freshman Team member last season, finished a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.
True freshman Matt Rose of Lexington Christian Academy notched a double-figure scoring performance in his first collegiate outing as he tallied 10 points and four rebounds, while shooting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
As a team, Samford finished 13-of-62 from the field and 3-of-19 from 3-point range. Rose knocked down two of the Bulldogs’ 3-pointers in the game, while senior guard Marcus Johnson added the third.
Louisville (1-0) finished with four players scoring in double figures and turned in a 53.6-percent shooting outing from the field. The Cardinals’ Mitchell Donovan and Damion Lee both registered 14 points Friday, while Quentin Snider and Chinanu Onuaku added 12 and 11, respectively.
From 3-point range, Louisville tallied a 46.7-percent outing, finishing 7-of-15 from beyond the arc.
“Somewhere along the line, our shots weren’t falling and it seemed like they were hitting every shot,” Padgett said. “I think that was a bit disheartening for our team and it definitely took us out of our game plan. We started doing our own thing and it became a lot of ‘me basketball’ versus ‘we basketball’ and that wasn’t good, because our 6-foot-1 guards were going up against their 7-foot-tall bigs.”
Photo by Jeff Reinking, U of L Athletics