ATLANTA, GA (Sporting Alert) — Top overall seed Louisville and No. 9 Wichita State battled out an exciting opening 20-minutes of the men’s NCAA Final Four clash here at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Wichita State (30-8) leads Louisville (33-5) 26-25 at half-time.
The Cardinals already have seven turnovers and is shooting 8-for-20 from the field and Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall praised his defense for the work it’s doing.
Asked what’s the biggest difference so far in the game, Marshall said: “Our defense. We are doing a great job, especially with the defensive rebounding.”
The Shockers jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but were pegged back by the Cardinals, which responded with the next nine straight as both teams battled out the first half.
Russ Smith, after going cold in the first five minutes of the contest, found his range to knock down 3-of-5 from three-point attempts and leads all scorers with 11 points going into the interval.
He, however, has four of his team’s seven first half turnovers.
Only two Louisville starters have scored so far, with star point guard Peyton Siva only scoring two points after going 0-of-5 in the half.
Cleanthony Early, who has scored nine points is leading Wichita State at the moment.
This is the first time the Cardinals have trailed in the tournament at half-time.