PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) " Louisville coach Rick Pitino wasn't happy with all the bad shots his 10th-ranked Cardinals hoisted up early against Old Dominion " especially with ones by sophomore Donovan Mitchell.
"In the first half he was trying to win a game of H-O-R-S-E, see the most difficult shot he could take so he could win the game," Pitino quipped.
Mitchell went on to score all 15 of his points after halftime to help the Cardinals hold off Old Dominion 68-62 in overtime in the final game of the first day at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Mitchell went 0 for 3 from the field in that scoreless first half, but went on to hit three 3-pointers " including the long straightaway shot on Louisville's first possession in overtime that put the Cardinals (4-0) ahead for good.
"Kind of like what Coach said: just kind of forced the issue," Mitchell said of the first half. "That's not really what you want to do, especially coming out here and playing in your first real tournament like this. You just have to settle down and let the game come to you."
Mitchell also hit some key free throws and came up with a couple of key plays, one being a steal in the paint with his team protecting a 59-58 lead with 1:22 left in OT.
Quentin Snider scored 18 points to lead the Cardinals on a night when they struggled to knock down much of anything, while Mangok Mathiang nearly won it in regulation for Louisville with an inside basket with 14.4 seconds left.
Louisville shot 24 percent in the first half and 30 percent for the game.
Brandan Stith scored 22 points, including a putback with 6.3 seconds left to answer Mathiang and force overtime for the Monarchs (2-1). Old Dominion shot just 38 percent, but hurt its chances most by missing 17 of 32 free throws.
"We left a lot of points out there," ODU coach Jeff Jones said. "And free throw shooting was certainly a big part of it. But I think offensively, I don't think I'm going to be sleeping very well. There were a bunch of times where we had opportunities and we just kind of shot ourselves in the foot."
Louisville: Pitino pointed to his team's first-half shot selection as a factor in the bad shooting percentage, but said he was happy with his team showing enough toughness to overcome it and play better as the game wore on.
"That's the storyline of the game, not that we shot bad," Pitino said. "It's the fact we overcame it and won the game."
ODU: The Monarchs have won 52 games the past two seasons and have four returning starters, so this was a winnable game against a power conference team that simply got away. The free throw shooting, in particular, stood out along with 22 turnovers " the kind of mistakes that proved too costly against a Top 10 opponent.
"You look out there and see as hard-fought as that game was," Jones said. "I wish we had back some of those offensive possessions."
The Cardinals have climbed from No. 13 in the preseason AP Top 25 , but they'll get a tough test to stay in their current perch when they play a high-scoring Wichita State team on Thursday.
Stith nearly found a way to top his OT-forcing shot. He stole the ensuing inbounds pass and launched a hurried 3-pointer from the corner that missed. Louisville got the ball back with 1.4 seconds left after a review for an inbounds play, but Deng Adel's final heave from beyond halfcourt wasn't close.
Louisville: The Cardinals won't have much time to prepare for Wichita State in a game scheduled to tip off roughly 14 hours after this one wrapped up. The Shockers played the day's first of four games.
"We won't make any excuses," Pitino said. "We'll just have to adjust on the fly and see what happens. But we have no prep time."
ODU: The Monarchs will face LSU on Thursday in the loser's bracket on Day 2 of the three-games-in-three-days event.
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This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings