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Williams, Freshmen Lead Cardinals in 91-50 Exhibition Win Over Simmons

LOUISVILLE, KY. — October 18, 2023

The Louisville men’s basketball team got a strong showing from its quartet of freshmen Wednesday in a 91-50 exhibition victory over Simmons College at the KFC Yum! Center.

Freshman guard/forward Curtis Williams led all scorers with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists, shooting 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

“For me, it felt amazing,” Williams said. “Just not having to go out there and play the same guys we’ve been playing in practice every day, finally getting to go against somebody. Coming together as a group and going to war with my guys, I loved that tonight.”

The Cardinals also got nine points and nine rebounds from freshman center Dennis Evans, as well as nine points and three boards from freshman forward Kaleb Glenn. Freshman guard Ty-Laur Johnson chipped in seven points, four rebounds and two assists.

As a group, the newcomers combined for 38 points on 14 of 20 shooting from the field.

“I thought that game was one that we could build on, a game that we needed to identify and evaluate what guys can comprehend which concepts,” UofL head coach Kenny Payne said. “But at the end of the day, I needed to know who I can count on to fight. Who can I count on to be disciplined? Who can I count on to know the plays and execute … The great thing is I can identify who is who and who can help us win games.”

Louisville also got 13 points and seven boards from redshirt sophomore guard/forward Mike James and 12 points from sophomore guard Tre White in the opening victory.

The Cardinals got off to a slow start with 13 first-half turnovers, but a 24-1 run to end the first half helped them jump out to a 44-16 halftime advantage.

Simmons, coached by UofL Athletics Hall of Famer Tony Branch, opened the second half with a 7-0 run, but UofL shot 57.1% from the field in the second half and pulled away behind a balance effort.

“The message was we have to crack down on turnovers, really take care of the ball, and make sure we run things correctly,” Evans said. “We started off a bit jittery, but we ended up picking it up towards the end.”

Louisville shot 53.6% from the field, made 23 of 29 free throws and outrebounded Simmons 54-22. Calvin Wilder paced the Falcons with eight points.

The Cardinals conclude exhibition play against Kentucky Wesleyan on Oct. 30. The game will stream on ACC Network Plus.

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