Louisville will look to build off its first win of the season when it hosts Florida A&M on Saturday.
The Cardinals (1-9) owned the longest losing streak to start an ACC season in league history and were just two defeats shy of equaling the program’s worst start ever before they beat Western Kentucky 94-83 on Wednesday.
El Ellis posted his first career double-double with 30 points and 10 assists, making 10 of 19 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Kamari Lands scored a career-high 15 points and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield chipped in 11.
Sydney Curry and Jae’Lyn Withers each had 10 points and six rebounds as Louisville earned its first win under coach Kenny Payne and avoided any chance of matching the 1940-41 Cardinals, who opened the season 0-11.
“Loved the way we finally played, with toughness and energy and confidence,” Payne said. “I just told the guys this: What did it smell like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like? Because winning one, imagine what it’s like to win 80 and 90 percent of your games. You’ve got to sacrifice your life to it.
“So hopefully this is a steppingstone that they greatly needed because they put in a lot of work. But we have to build on this game and continue the momentum going and get over the schneid.”
Florida A&M (2-6) ended a two-game slide with a 58-47 win over visiting Edward Waters, a Division II school, on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Rattlers trailed the Tigers 22-18 at halftime before outscoring them 40-25 in the final 20 minutes.
Jaylen Bates, who averages 9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds, had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jordan Tillmon, who averages 9.1 points and 3.1 rebounds, added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Rattlers, who play at No. 13 Kentucky on Wednesday, have sustained five of their six losses to Power 5 teams, including then-No. 21 Oregon, Oregon State, Miami, Florida and Georgia.
“The one consistent theme has been turnovers and quick shots,” Rattlers coach Robert McCullum said. “But you know we are making progress, just not as fast as what we would have liked, but yet nonetheless we are making progress.”
–Field Level Media