Thu, 02 Dec 2021

Louisville looks for consistency vs. streaking Mississippi State

Field Level Media
25 Nov 2021, 05:19 GMT+10

Mississippi State and Louisville have gotten off to good starts at home.

Now they'll leave town for the first time this season and meet in the Bahamas Championship in Nassau on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (4-0) have won each of their games by double figures, and they have been efficient on both ends of the floor except for an occasional lapse.

"I think our defense has been very good," coach Ben Howland said. "Overall, our field-goal percentage defensively has been great. Our rebounding numbers have been great, with the exception of the Detroit (Mercy) game where we only outrebounded them by one. If you just do those two areas alone, you give yourself a great chance to win every night."

MSU outrebounded Morehead State 44-21 Sunday in rolling to a 66-46 victory.

"We just play our game, and we play at our pace," guard Iverson Molinar said. "We come out there and play as hard as we can."

Despite their good start, the Cardinals (3-1) haven't been as consistent on defense or in their rebounding as acting head coach Mike Pegues would like.

"Our team has not embraced having that defensive identity of guarding the ball, keeping it out of the paint, gapping the ball, being there on the catch, taking away rhythm threes," Pegues said.

Louisville led Detroit Mercy by 14 points early in the second half, but saw its opponent tie the score before Noah Locke made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:17 remaining in a 73-67 win on Saturday.

"You cannot accept in victory what you wouldn't accept in defeat," Pegues said. "I did not think we guarded the ball very well. I don't think that we guarded the three-point line very well. I thought there were some times when we really miscommunicated on some switches.

"We have to get better, and it doesn't matter who we play -- whether it's an ACC school, SEC school, a MAC school. We have to do some things a lot better on the defensive end and on the glass."

--Field Level Media

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