Spalding helps Louisville pull away from Grand Canyon
A 21-3 second-half run and a double-double by junior forward Ray Spalding helped the Louisville Cardinals put away visiting Grand Canyon 74-56 Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
Spalding finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Cardinals (10-2), who also got 14 points from junior forward Deng Adel and 12 from senior guard Quentin Snider.
The Antelopes (9-4) were led by sophomore wing Oscar Frayer’s 14 points.
Louisville missed seven of its first eight shots while falling behind 11-3 in the early going. The Cardinals began to press on defense and came back to take a brief 16-15 lead before falling behind 23-21 on a layup by Grand Canyon’s Keonta Vernon with just under four minutes left before halftime.
An 8-0 run sparked by a layup and a pair of free throws by Spalding gave Louisville a 29-23 lead. Louisville led 31-25 at the half, spurred by Spalding’s eight points and five rebounds.
Louisville held the lead throughout the second half, but Grand Canyon didn’t go quickly. The Lopes drew within a point at 38-37 with 16:53 left before Louisville launch its game-clinching 21-3 run.
The Cardinals’ run started with a dunk by Spalding. In fact, he scored six of the first nine points of the run. Louisville’s defense continued to fluster Grand Canyon as the Cardinals extended the lead to 59-40 by the 8:28 mark.
Vernon’s layup at 7:28 broke a five-plus-minute streak without a field goal for the Lopes, but by that point the game was virtually decided. Louisville held a 59-43 lead. GCU got no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Louisville out-rebounded Grand Canyon 41-35 and scored 21 points on 19 Lope turnovers. Grand Canyon had just six points off the bench, and starters Vernon and freshman post Alessandro Lever fouled out.