Louisville – Desi Rodriguez didn’t want to settle with the clock ticking down at the Yum! Center on Sunday night.
“I had been aggressive all day. I wanted to go to the basket.”
That’s exactly what the Seton Hall senior did, and just as Louisville had no answer for him for the first 39 minutes, they couldn’t stop the Pirate star on his final drive of the night. A tough lay-in with eight seconds to play and a subsequent missed three by Louisville’s Quentin Snider secured the 79-77 statement-making victory for The Hall. Rodriguez finished with a game-high 29 points, just one off his career best.
Just over a week removed from losing a nail-biter to Rhode Island, Pirates’ head coach Kevin Willard wanted the 6-foot-7 wing to be the man with the rockl in the final seconds.
“Last week against Rhode Island, I didn’t put it in Desi’s hands,” said Willard. “I made sure the rest of the year it would get in his hands at the end of the game.”
For the Pirates, it was a historical win in more ways than one. The last and only time Seton Hall won at Louisville, Harry Truman was in office. The year was 1952.
The victory also snapped the Cardinals’ 22-game non-conference home winning streak. Louisville came in having won 58 of its last 59 non-conference games at the Yum! Center.
“Road wins are really, really important in college basketball,” said Willard. “It helps your RPI so much. Road wins travel and to get one after beating a tough Texas Tech team on Thursday, to come back now on Sunday. We were able to get our motor going again.”
After getting bumped out of the AP Top 25 poll last Monday, the Pirates will definitely reappear in it tomorrow.