LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Deng Adel had 20 points, including 16 during Louisville's hot-shooting second half that rallied the Cardinals past Northern Kentucky 66-58 Tuesday night in a first-round NIT game.
The No. 2 seed Cardinals (21-13) needed a half to shake the mental funk of missing the NCAA Tournament before making 14 of 23 in the final two quarters (61 percent) to win the meeting between Bluegrass State schools. Louisville led 45-44 after three quarters thanks to a monster slam by Darius Perry and scored the first nine points of the fourth to gain some breathing room against the No. 7 seed Norse (22-10).
Adel made all six shots after the break and 7 of 12 overall to lead Louisville, which made just 40 percent overall. Ryan McMahon had 10 points and Ray Spalding added 13 rebounds and 7 points off the bench for the Cardinals, who will face Middle Tennessee in the second round.
Drew McDonald had 19 points and 13 rebounds while Lavone Holland II had 15 points for NKU, which shot 34 percent and 5 of 28 from long range.