Brandon Huntley-Hatfield paces Louisville past Pepperdine


Brandon Huntley-Hatfield collected 20 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks and led a second-half spurt as host Louisville routed Pepperdine 85-63 in the nonconference matchup on Sunday afternoon.

Huntley-Hatfield grabbed six offensive boards along the way and scored 14 in the second half, including a three-point play with 13:25 left in the game. It began a 10-0 run for the Cardinals (5-6), who had seen Pepperdine climb within seven points.

Mike James scored 19 points and Curtis Williams added 16 for Louisville, whose coach, Kenny Payne, has been the subject of speculation about his job safety after the slow start . Last season, his first guiding his alma mater, Payne went 4-28.

Michael Ajayi led Pepperdine (5-8) with 17 points. His bucket capped a 9-3 spurt that pulled the Waves within 45-38 with 14:22 left in the second half, but they missed eight of their next nine shots and the Cardinals took off. Louisville added two 8-0 bursts in putting the game away.

Houston Mallette, Pepperdine’s leading scorer at 18 points per game, added 11 on Sunday but was only 5 of 15 from the floor, including 1-for-8 on 3-point attempts. Malik Moore chipped in 10 points.

Louisville, which began the day shooting only 41.1 percent from the floor, hit 48.5 percent, including 9 of 16 from long range. Pepperdine finished at 40.4 percent and 6 of 24 on 3-pointers.

The Cardinals used their 43-27 edge on the boards to outscore the Waves 40-22 in the paint.

Pepperdine tried to hang around in the first half, trailing by only seven after Mallette’s layup at 9:25.

But the Waves fell into a particularly untimely fight goal drought shortly thereafter, going nearly six minutes until Mallette’s jumper with 3:33 left. By then, the Cardinals led by 15.

Louisville led by 14 at the break. James led the Cardinals with 10 points, and Huntley-Hatfield had six points and nine rebounds. Mallette led Pepperdine with nine points.