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CARDS Ride Career Nights to Victory Over Florida State

Cardinals score triple digits for ACC Win

LOUISVILLE – December 3, 2024

Louisville men’s basketball got career days from three players and broke the century mark for the first time in the Kenny Payne era, knocking off Florida State 101-92 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Junior forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield led the Cardinals (7-15, 2-9 ACC) with a career-high 29 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard Ty-Laur Johnson dazzled with 27 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.

“First of all, I thought Florida State was one of the teams, one of the two or three teams in our conference, that refuses to allow you to run plays,” Payne said. “What they do is they play past the lanes and deny everything and force you to play out of your comfort zone. … When we play like that, we are going to put teams on their heels. We have to continue to do that. By no means am I satisfied because there were mistakes made at the end of the game where we were – I don’t want to say rushed or panicked – but we weren’t composed. We worked on the press for two or three days in order to be composed. We will learn from it and try to get better.”

Johnson became the first player in program history with at least 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in a game. It was the first time two Cardinals have had at least 27 points in the same game since Larry O’Bannon and Taquan Dean did it in 2005.

“What I try to do first is get in the lane, make the defense collapse, and get my teammates the ball,” Johnson said. “So, I don’t like to get big-headed once I get going. I just try to get the other guys rolling with me.”

Freshman guard Curtis Williams also had a career-high 19 points, and redshirt sophomore guard/forward Mike James added 18 points with a 14-of-19 clip from the free-throw line.

Louisville had four players score at least 18 points for the first time since 1989.

The Cardinals shot 54.4% from the field and made 36 of 45 free throws. They scored 50 points in the paint and forced Florida State (12-9, 6-4) into 18 turnovers.

“The way they play defense, they deny everything so you can’t really run an offense,” James said. “When we first started game, we were trying to run offense, and that wasn’t going to work. What he told us was it’s basically a street ball game, you just got to go in and attack. So that’s what we did.”

Louisville finished the first half on a 14-5 run to take a 47-35 lead, with Johnson finding Huntley-Hatfield for a dunk just before the buzzer. Johnson had seven assists in the first half.

The Seminoles got back to within 53-49 at the 15:39 mark of the second half, but Louisville answered with a 9-0 run. Williams’ 3 made it 62-49 with 13:18 left, and the Cardinals stayed in control the rest of the way.

Jalen Warley had 23 points to lead Florida State, which shot 51.6% from the field but went just 3-for-19 from 3-point range.

Louisville returns to the road at Syracuse at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will air on ACC Network.

“Every time we all come into the media (room), we’re always saying we know what type of guys we have in our locker room,” Huntley-Hatfield said. “It’s just about putting it together. Sometimes we find ourselves not putting two halves together in games. I felt like tonight we did that. We also just want to make sure we are watching the film on our mistakes and making sure we are cutting down on those so we can have a much cleaner game. We’re going to have these W’s.”

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