U of L takes on Northridge without Harrell
The University of Louisville basketball team learned two valuable lessons in its Saturday win at Western Kentucky.
First, U of L's young players learned what games are going to be like in hostile road environments. More important in the grand scheme of this season, U of L learned that it can win – or at least survive – without All-American forward Montrezl Harrell.
On Tuesday, the fourth-ranked Cardinals must again play without Harrell, who's suspended for one game, when they host Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center. It's Louisville's last tune-up game before the heated annual rivalry matchup against Kentucky on Saturday.
"Foul trouble, thrown out of the game, whatever it is – we're going to have to dig deep," U of L sophomore Terry Rozier said Saturday.
Rozier was the main reason Louisville (10-0) outlasted WKU. The 6-foot-1 guard finished with 32 points, and 26 of them came in the second half.
He had help, too. Freshman 7-footer Anas Mahmoud played his most significant role of the season with Harrell out, tallying six points, five rebounds and three blocks in 19 second-half minutes.
Cal State Northridge (3-9) doesn't present the kind of challenge that WKU did on Saturday. The Matadors, coached by former U of L assistant Reggie Theus, have mightily struggled on both ends of the floor and they are winless in six true road games this season.
Northridge has scored 60 or more points in just half of its games, and the Matadors rank 256th in offensive efficiency and 293rd in defensive efficiency.