Denny Crum just couldn’t convince his players that they
TOWSON, Md. (AP) _ Denny Crum just couldn’t convince his players that they could actually lose to Towson State.
The result was a lesson that had best not be forgotten _ Towson State 81, Louisville 69.
``We have a bunch of young guys who have to learn the hard way,″ Crum said Monday night after the galling defeat. ``Our guys didn’t have an honest respect for Towson State.
``Maybe someday they’ll learn. If they don’t, maybe we’d better go recruit some different players.″
Towson State pulled away from the weary Cardinals in the second half, holding them to just 10 points in the final nine minutes. By the time Louisville realized that an upset was in the making, it was too late.
``Once they finally figured that they could get beat, they couldn’t make the shots when they had them,″ Crum said. ``I guess they’ll just have to take their lumps until they get it figured out.″
Louisville made only two baskets in the final nine minutes, but the game was probably decided as the Cardinals prepared to take the court.
``Most games are won or lost through mental preparation as much as anything else. When you’re not ready to play, you’re not going to play well,″ Crum said.
Samaki Walker led Louisville (12-8) with 18 points and DeJuan Wheat had 16 _ all before halftime. It was the Cardinals’ third game in five days, and that became apparent as the second half wore on.
Ralph Blalock scored 26 points and DeRon Robinson a career-high 20 for Towson State, including 7 in a 15-4 second-half run that gave the Tigers (8-9) the lead for good.
As the final buzzer sounded, many in the crowd of 4,821 poured onto the court to celebrate one of the biggest victories in the history of the Towson State basketball program.
The Tigers, who lost to Maryland by 47 points earlier this season, were coming off losses to Winthrop and UNC-Asheville. But all that was forgotten as soon as this game ended.
``This win is just going to boost our confidence,″ Blalock said. ``We should always play with this intensity, no matter who we play.″
The contest was arranged earlier this season after Louisville learned its games in the Great Alaska Shootout did not count toward the regular season. The Cardinals therefore needed to fill out their schedule, so they played at Dayton on Dec. 29 and arranged to come to Towson.
It turned out to be a bad move for Louisville.
``You have to play well to win _ I don’t care who you’re playing, or when you play,″ Crum said.
Louisville led 55-49 before Robinson had a basket and five free throws in the pivotal 15-4 surge that put the Tigers ahead 64-59 with 6:14 to go. After the Cardinals closed to 65-63, reserve guard Quintin Moody made a 3-pointer that made it 68-63 with 4:37 remaining.
After Louisville’s Alvin Sims made a free throw, Jason Crump scored for Towson on a jumper as the shot clock expired. Robinson then made two free throws to make it 72-64 with 1:36 left, and the celebration began.