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Video: Kenny Payne Press Conference —

Video: El Ellis and Fabio Basili Press Conference —

Video: Maryland coach Kevin Willard download link —

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — No. 22/25 Maryland burst out of halftime making its first five 3-pointers, and Louisville men’s basketball couldn’t recover in a 79-54 loss Tuesday at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Terrapins (7-0) shot 50% overall and made 6 of 11 3s in the second half, leading by as much as 33 with 6:08 left in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge clash.

“This is really hard,” Louisville head coach Kenny Payne said. “It’s not easy. There is only one way out and that is to fight with every bit of fire that is in your body and to understand that no matter who we are facing we probably won’t be the most talented. But if you have a will and if you play desperately on the defensive end, then fight to get rebounds, be efficient offensively – then we have a fighting chance. A lot of this is new to them because a lot of them are, for the first time, playing in severely different roles. I am asking them to be selfless and to try to play the right way and compete every second of every day in practice as well as games. It is hard. We are going to keep plugging away. We are not giving up. It is hard. They need to have success and it needs to come in the form of a W.

“But nobody, any opponent that we play is not going to feel sorry for us and give us a W. They are going to come in here and try to beat us by 30 or 40 and we have to have pride and understand what it is. We got dropped off in the jungle, and we have to make it out. It is survival of the fittest.”

Maryland went on a 13-0 run in the opening minutes to build an 18-4 advantage, and the Cardinals (0-7) were playing catch-up the rest of the night.

Louisville trimmed its deficit to eight on a basket by senior guard El Ellis with 1:22 left in the first half, but the Terrapins pushed it back to 37-26 at the break and knocked down their first six shots after halftime, including five from deep.

“We’ve got to be desperate,” freshman guard Fabio Basili said. “We can’t let the other team be more desperate than us. That’s really it. Who’s the most desperate team out there on the court.”

Ellis had 15 points and three assists for the Cardinals, who were playing their third ranked opponent in the last four games.

Sophomore forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield had eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while redshirt freshman guard/forward Mike James and Basili each chipped in six points.

Donta Scott had 18 points to lead Maryland, which scored 21 points off Louisville’s 13 turnovers.

“We’ve got to be locked in,” Ellis said. “We have to come out ready to play each game. We’re playing really good teams and we can’t have mental lapses and not come out ready to play.”

The Cardinals stay at home to open ACC play on Sunday, when they welcome Miami at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air on the ACC Network.


Fans can follow Louisville men’s basketball on TwitterFacebook or Instagram at @LouisvilleMBB.

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