LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Mike James scored 25 points, JJ Traynor slammed home a go-ahead dunk with seven seconds remaining and Louisville edged UMBC 94-93 in a season opener on Monday night.
Traynor’s basket was the difference after Khydarius Smith missed the second of two free throws with one second left and a chance to tie.
James sank 6 of 12 shots from the floor and 13 of his 14 free throws for the Cardinals, who didn’t pick up their first win last season until their 10th game. Traynor and fellow reserve Ty-Laur Johnson, a freshman, scored 13 and 12, respectively. Tre White and Skyy Clark added 11 points apiece. White grabbed nine rebounds; Clark had three assists.
Dion Brown scored 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting with two 3-pointers to lead the Retrievers. He added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Bryce Johnson totaled 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting with three 3s. Smith had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.
UMBC falls to 2-19 against current members of the ACC. The wins came against Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and Pittsburgh two seasons ago.
Louisville honored former coach Denny Crum, who passed away in May at the age of 86, with a halftime ceremony. Cardinal players will wear a patch with Crum’s customary red jacket on it in honor of the Hall of Famer, who coached the team from 1971-2001. He won two NCAA championships with the Cardinals — in 1980 and 1986.