LOUISVILLE, KY -- Louisville outscored Siena Basketball 47-24 in the second half as the Cardinals defeated the Saints 86-60 in the Houzz Gotham Classic presented by TicketIQ in front of 17,215 at the KFC Yum! Center. Sophomore forward Sammy Friday posted his first collegiate double-double with career-highs of 15 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for the Saints.
Anas Mahmoud narrowly missed a triple-double in tallying 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine blocks for Louisville (5-2) which rejected 15 shots after entering play ranked third nationally in blocks (7.3). Ray Spalding contributed a double-double of his own with 10 points and 10 rebounds and added four blocks and four steals for the perennial national power Cardinals which recorded their 59th win in their past 61 non-conference home contests.
Junior guard Nico Clareth matched Friday in scoring 15 points off the bench for Siena (2-6) which received 43 points overall from its reserves. Sophomore guard Khalil Richard notched eight points and freshman guard Roman Penn added six points and seven rebounds for the Saints which fell to 7-24 all-time vs. current Atlantic Coast Conference programs.
Louisville started the game on a 12-2 run and went 5-7 (.714) in the first four minutes of play. Siena jumped right back into the contest against the Cardinals, in just the two programs third all-time meeting and first since their classic 2009 NCAA Tournament Second round matchup in Dayton, Ohio. The Saints trailed by as little as one point three separate times in the tail end of the half. Penn's first three of six points, put Siena in the lead 31-27 at the 6:46 mark in the first half. The Saints held onto that lead until two Spalding free throws put Louisville ahead 35-33 with 2:48 remaining and the Cardinals never looked back.
Down by just three at the half, 39-36, the Saints look to take down Louisville, who is receiving votes in both national polls this week. The Saints again brought it within one, 48-47, behind a trey from Clareth, but the tides turned and Louisville would go on a 16-0 run over the span of 6:15 to lead 60-47 before Friday would put Siena back on the board. The Cardinals were able to run out the final eight minutes and only allowed the Saints to score 13 in those final minutes as Louisville would clinch the Houzz Gotham Classic presented by TicketIQ matchup 86-60.
For Louisville, Quentin Snyder added 16 points, while Jordan Nwora tipped in 11 off the bench, while the team shot 50% (32-64). Siena was held to just 31%-shooting (19-61), but shot 50% from behind the arc (8-16).
Siena continues competition in the Houzz Gotham Classic presented by TicketIQ Saturday when the Saints host crosstown rival UAlbany in the battle for the Albany Cup. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. from the Times Union Center in the back end of a doubleheader which commences with the women's Albany Cup matchup at 5 p.m.