By: Jason Krell

The Knights of Bellarmine wanted nothing more than to spoil the first game of the Kenny Payne
era and walk out of the Yum! Center with a win, and they did just that.

The Cards were slow out of the gate and Bellarmine took full advantage outscoring them 41-30
in the first half. Defensive breakdowns allowed the Knights to lead by as much as twelve in
the first half and completely dominated in the paint despite Louisville’s size advantage. The
Knights shot an impressive 59% from the field to the Cards’ 38% heading into the break where
one can only imagine what Payne had to say to his guys.

The pressure was on now to see if Louisville could wake up in the second half and avoid one of
the worst opening losses in recent memory. The Cards’ comeback quest was fueled by trio
Jae’Lyn Withers, El Ellis, and Mike James who all scored in double figures, but were matched by
Bellarmine’s Garret Tipton and Bash Wieland, putting up 21 and 13 respectively.

Trimming down the lead late in the second half, Louisville was within one with a chance to send
the Knights packing. Freshman Kamari Lands missed a potential game-winning jump shot that
would have given the Cards the edge. Bellarmine escaped a second-half collapse and walked off
the court feeling more confident than ever that they belonged with the big boys.

All is not lost for the Cardinals as they will get a second chance on Saturday, November 12th
where they will take on Wright State. No game from this point forward will be a walk in
Cherokee Park, but the Cards can take away the positives from this contest and move on.

A head coach in his first season with a new roster is bound to have some early season hiccups. Let us not
press the panic button…yet.

File Photo // USA TODAY //

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