BOSTON (AP) With Louisville’s top two point guards injured, coach Rick Pitino wanted Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell to keep shooting the ball.
“I said, `Great scorers don’t count misses,”‘ Pitino said after the sixth-ranked Cardinals coasted to a 90-67 victory over Boston College on Saturday. “They’re wide open and they say, `(I’m) 0 for 3 and I don’t want to be 0 for 4.”‘
Adel didn’t have any problem with that against the Eagles, scoring a career-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting. He made his first seven shots before missing a jumper with about 12 minutes left in the game and the Cardinals (19-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) already leading by 19.
“Regardless of who’s hurt and who’s not hurt, Coach has confidence in me,” said Adel, a sophomore who had twice scored 18 points this season. “It’s just me having that mindset in practice.”
Mitchell also scored 19 points as Louisville won for the seventh time in eight games. Mangok Mathiang scored 16 points and Ray Spalding and Jaylen Johnson had seven rebounds apiece for the Cardinals, whose last four wins have come by an average of 33 points.
“It was 34-30,” BC coach Jim Christian said repeatedly. “They took it up to another level. We refused to go to that level.”
Ky Bowman scored 18 points and added five rebounds for BC (9-15, 2-9). The Eagles have lost nine of their last 10 games – this one with Celtics Isaiah Thomas and former Louisville star Terry Rozier sitting courtside.
Louisville scored the first 10 points of the game but still led just 39-30 at the half. In the second, the Cardinals scored 11 straight points to turn a 50-40 lead into a blowout.
Louisville: The Cardinals continued to win at partial strength, but they have a bigger test against Virginia on Monday.
Boston College: With Pittsburgh’s loss to No. 21 Duke, the Eagles remain one game out of the ACC cellar.
MISSING IN ACTION
The Cardinals were playing without starting point guard Quentin Snider, who strained a hip flexor on Jan. 14, and backup Tony Hicks, who broke a bone in his right hand 10 days later. Former walk-on David Levitch had three assists and one turnover, scoring three points on 1-for-7 shooting.
“We should get healthy some time in a week to 10 days and then we’ll have a full complement of players,” Pitino said.
TO THE TREADMILL
In order to teach his players to take open shots, Pitino puts them on the treadmill for one minute every time they pass one up. Adel said he was sent to the treadmill six or seven times one practice over the summer.
“After that, I’m like, `I don’t want to get sent to the treadmill again,”‘ he said.
Pitino, who’s still remembered unfavorably in Boston for his tenure as the Celtics coach, did his best to get back on the good side of the local fans. Asked about the quick turnaround before Monday’s game against No. 9 Virginia, he said the Cardinals will fly home, watch tape in the morning, practice and then get back on a plane “and watch the Patriots win” the Super Bowl.
“I love Bill Belichick,” he said. “So I’m hoping.”
UNDER THE WEATHER
BC forward Jerome Robinson didn’t start the second half after throwing up at halftime. He finished with 13 points of 4-of-14 shooting in 33 minutes.
Christian said he hadn’t spoken to a doctor to determine the cause.
Since losing to No. 10 Florida State on Jan. 21, the Cardinals have won three in a row heading into their matchup with the Cavaliers on Monday.
Louisville: at No. 9 Virginia on Monday.
Boston College: vs. Pittsburgh on Wednesday.