Cards top Barry by 20 in exhibition

Cards top Barry by 20 in exhibition

(From University of Louisivlle)LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's basketball team defeated Barry 91-71 Saturday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center to capture a win in its first exhibition game of the 2014-15 season.

After jumping out to a 45-29 halftime lead, the Cardinals (1-0) edged the Buccaneers (0-1) 46-42 in the second half to cruise to victory. Senior forward

, whose 22 points were a game-high, helped seal the win with 10 points in the game's second frame.

Barry trimmed the Louisville lead to 75-61 with 5:16 remaining, but Blackshear scored eight crucial points in less than three minutes to effectively erase any possibility of a Buccaneers comeback. Draining a 3-pointer from the right corner at the 5:23 mark, Blackshear pushed the Cardinals ahead by 17 before adding another deep-ball from the left wing on Louisville's next possession. Blackshear capped the sequence with a steal and dunk with 2:50 remaining.

Also boosting the Cardinals in the second half was guard

, who set the pace in the half by scoring the first five U of L points and dishing out five assists.

With the smothering defense that has become their identity over the years, the Cardinals staved off Barry by forcing 20 turnovers, blocking nine shots, and holding the Buccaneers to 33.3 percent from the field on 24 of 72 shooting.

Offensively, the Cardinals connected on 37 of 71 shot attempts for a 52.1 percent clip in the game.

Despite the Cardinals holding an edge in nearly every statistical category, Barry held a 53-41 advantage in rebounding. The Buccaneers dominated the offensive glass, out-rebounding the Cardinals 29-16 on the offensive end.

"That's what's exhibition is about," Louisville head coach

said after the game. "You see what you're doing well and what you need to work on. It's really about technique and that's why we've been rebounding poorly.

"From a technical standpoint, this was really good for us. Out there, we saw our flaws."

"A lot of things I liked, so it was a good exhibition game and we know what we need to work on going forward."

In the end, the Louisville length and defense were too much to overcome, as the Cardinals scored 50 points in the paint and 25 off of turnovers.

In addition to his game-high point total, Blackshear chipped in four rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 35 minutes of play. Forward

contributed 18 points and five rebounds, while guard

and center

scored 15 and 11, respectively, to round out those in double-digits for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals will host Bellarmine next Sunday, Nov. 9, in the KFC Yum! Center. The meeting with the Knights will be the team's final exhibition game before tipping off regular season play against Minnesota on Nov. 14 in Puerto Rico in the Armed Forces Classic.