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Still searching for first win, Louisville takes on No. 21 Texas Tech

No. 21 Texas Tech will be looking to get back on the winning track when it squares off against Louisville on Tuesday afternoon in the consolation semifinals of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.

But the Cardinals have an even more basic goal in mind — they’re still looking to taste victory for the first time this season after four losses.

Texas Tech fell for the first time in 2022-23 and dropped into the consolation side of the bracket after a 76-65 defeat at the hands of No. 10 Creighton in an opening round game on Monday. The Red Raiders (3-1) were led by Daniel Batcho’s 17 points, while Pop Isaacs had 13, De’Vion Harmon added 12 and Kevin Obanor scored 10.

The Red Raiders led by as many as seven points on two occasions over the first six minutes, the latest after Jaylon Tyson’s 3-pointer put Tech up 12-5 at the 13:48 mark. The game was tied at the half, and Creighton took charge early in the second half before pushing the Red Raiders’ deficit to as many as 14 points late in the game.

“The biggest difference was that first four minutes (of the second half),” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “They came out with just a really aggressive mindset on both ends of the floor. It set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Texas Tech shot just 43.5 percent from the floor, was only 5 of 7 from the free-throw line and had just five second-chance points.

“We’re just, again, so young and we’re not to that place with our team where our guys still know exactly where to take their shots,” Adams said. “We passed up some and we took some bad ones. It’s just going to be a learning process. There were some real bright spots for us that we can build on as we move forward.”

Louisville (0-4) came into this prestigious tournament in Maui after three one-point losses at home and absorbed an 80-54 thumping by No. 9 Arkansas in Monday’s first-round game. Kamari Lands came off the bench to lead the Cardinals with 13 points and El Ellis finished with 11. Louisville’s starters combined to shoot just 6 of 26 from the field.

It’s the first time the Cardinals have started the season with four losses since the 1940-41 campaign, when they dropped their first 11 games.

The Cardinals were down by just eight at halftime and kept things close over the first five minutes of the second half. Arkansas put away the game with a 23-4 run in which it scored 17 consecutive points. Louisville trailed by as many as 27 points in the late minutes of the game.

“Winning basketball is all the little things,” Louisville coach Kenny Payne said. “The torture that you do to your body and conditioning, the work ethic that you do to continue to pass the ball to each other and trust that your teammate will make the right play. That comes with time.

“We’re trying to build that. We got a long way to go, to be honest with you.”

Louisville had 22 turnovers and just four assists in Monday’s loss, marking the only time since assists became a stat in college basketball that it had 20 or more turnovers and fewer than five assists.

–Field Level Media