In its final tune-up before Saturday's season-opener, the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals made quick work of NAIA Pikeville Wednesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals pushed to an early 23-11 lead and expanded the lead to 32-16 by the seven minute mark of the first half. After Louisville pushed ahead 43-23 with just over four minutes left before halftime, UPike cut the Cardinals' lead to 45-30 by halftime.
Junior college transfer Chris Jones had 11 first-half points to lead the Cardinals, followed by 10 points from sophomore Montrezl Harrell.
Louisville scored 16 of the first 20 points in the second half, turning a 15 point lead into a 61-34 lead by the 16 minute mark.
The Cardinals maintained a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the exhibition, leading by 30 with just under two minutes left.
At the 13:49 mark, the crowd erupted in a standing ovation when injured guard Kevin Ware walked from the bench to the scorer's table to check in.
Ware, who suffered a compound fracture in his leg during the NCAA Tournament last March, has fully recovered from surgery and has been back working out with the team for a week.
The junior guard looked healthy as he snagged three rebounds and hit a three pointer in his first few minutes of playing time since his injury.
Redshirt freshman Mangok Mathiang started in the post in place of senior Stephan Van Treese. Mathiang, who developed his game in Australia, is battling for playing time with Van Treese in practice.
In the past week, Pitino has been critical of Van Treese's lack of interest in scoring saying that the senior has to be a threat to score to be on the court.