Gardner-Webb vs Louisville

Time: 03:30 P.M. EST

Louisville's rise to the Top 25 was somewhat of a surprise. Another letdown could see the Cardinals exit the poll in much more stunning fashion.

The 20th-ranked Cardinals will try to rebound from a poor effort in their first defeat of the season when they face Gardner-Webb for the first time Saturday.

Entering the season with a young team, Louisville (8-1) was picked to finish 10th in the 16-team Big East and coach Rick Pitino claimed this was a "bridge year." He also installed a new up-tempo style to capitalize on the Cardinals' speed in order to create turnovers.

That strategy got them off to their best start since 1996 while also entering the Top 25.

The Cardinals proved they belonged among the nation's elite by beating then-No. 20 UNLV 77-59 last Saturday. However, they followed with a major letdown in a lackluster 52-46 loss to Drexel on Tuesday, making 1 of 12 field goals over the final 8:30.

"When you don't get out on the break and don't rebound and do the little things that help you score (you lose)," Pitino said. "They deserve the victory and we didn't.

"We didn't rebound. That tells the story, 46-26, a very simple stat."

Another loss would likely knock Louisville from the rankings as it concludes a season-opening 10-game stretch at the new KFC Yum! Center.

"I don't judge anything after nine games," Pitino said. "With this basketball team right now, it's so inexperienced. I'm trying to build something special. You can't get bent out of shape with a loss."

Pitino's system has the Cardinals forcing an average of 19.1 turnovers after the Dragons committed 22. However, they'll need to regain their shooting touch after making a season-low 31.9 percent from the field while hitting 12 of 25 from the free-throw line Tuesday.

Preston Knowles, the only senior on Louisville, leads the team with 12.4 points per game. The guard had 13 on Tuesday after scoring a season-high 20 against the Runnin' Rebels.

Mike Marra has struggled over the last three games, totaling five points while making 1 of 21 shots. The sophomore guard had been averaging 13.0 points over the previous six contests.

Gardner-Webb (6-7) is trying to conclude a stretch of 10 consecutive games away from home by ending a five-game slide against ranked opponents dating to an 84-68 victory over then-No. 20 Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2007.

The Runnin' Bulldogs, 3-6 over the last nine, will have to do it without Jonathan Moore, their top scorer with 15.5 points per game. The senior swingman is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury suffered during last Saturday's 71-48 defeat at Arizona State.

"Anyone who has followed us this season knows Jon's significant value to our team, but I am most disappointed for Jon because this is his senior season and he was off to a terrific start," first-year coach Chris Holtmann said.

With Moore out, guard Luke Davis will likely return to the lineup after coming off the bench for the first time last weekend. The freshman, averaging 8.1 points, made 1 of 7 shots while missing all three 3-point attempts to finish with four points.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Game Forecast
0%Chance of Winning0%
0-0vs Top 250-0
vs Non-NCAA
vs Common Opponents
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Atlantic Sun
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N.J. Tech0-05-5165
No. Florida0-03-7229
S.C. Upstate0-03-9324
Kennesaw St.0-01-7277
Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Middle Tenn.0-07-112
La. Tech0-07-252
Old Dominion0-07-377
Western Ky.0-06-328
So. Miss0-05-4306
North Texas0-06-5257
UT-San Antonio0-06-5244

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Key Players
29.6 Min. Per Game 24.4 Preston<br>Knowles
15.5 Pts. Per Game 12.4
0.8 Ast. Per Game 1.8
4.9 Reb. Per Game 3.1
43.7 Field Goal % 36.6
34.6 Three Point % 34.5
67.6 Free Throw % 82.6
Other Games
LOYM 75 Final
USC 68 Final
Kansas 70
Illinois 54 Final
UIC 57
SC 57 Final
Ohio St 79
Arkansas 62 Final
Tx A&M 71
K-State 44 Final
Florida 57
Indiana St 52 Final
Purdue 65
Texas 78 Final
NC 76
GONZ 68 Final
Baylor 64
BYU 79 Final
PV A&M 51 Final
Mich St 90
Md-E Shr 64 Final
IONA 77 Final
Syracuse 83
Delaware 59 Final
MS Val St 60 Final
Kentucky 85
CAR 63 Final
Missouri 116
So Utah 50 Final
UCSB 64 Final