User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Ware returns as Louisville beats Pikeville

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kevin Ware's uncertainty over whether he would play or not is what made his return Wednesday night all the more special for the Louisville junior.

Advertisement
Ware, the guard whose gruesome right leg injury in the NCAA Midwest regional final became a rallying point during Louisville's championship run, saw his first action since last spring. He scored six points in 10 second-half minutes and the No. 3 Cardinals went on to a 90-61 exhibition victory over Pikeville.

The 6-foot-2 Ware entered the game with 13:49 remaining to a standing ovation from 19,227, moving deliberately at first before picking up the pace on a couple of breaks. He was cheered every time he touched the ball, and fans groaned nervously when he took a tumble.

Turns out there was nothing for them or Ware to worry about.

''Basketball-wise I feel like myself,'' said Ware, who wore black wraps on both of his lower legs. ''My speed and everything, jumping-wise, feels back to normal. I feel fine.''

Ware took an even bigger step toward normalcy when he hit a 3-pointer from the right side with 8:30 left that made it 71-44.

''I honestly thought I would air-ball my first shot,'' said Ware, who hit 1 of 3 field goals but converted 3 of 4 free throws. ''When it went in, everything went back to normal.''

Ware is coming back from compound fracture in his lower right leg sustained when he landed after going up to block a 3-point shot against Duke on March 31 in Indianapolis. The gruesome injury had teammates and even Louisville coach Rick Pitino crying before they regrouped with encouragement from Ware to win 85-63.

From that moment the Cardinals had their emotional center. Ware went on to become an instant, if reluctant, celebrity.

Since then the question became when Ware would come back to a Louisville squad needing his experience, length and shooting - especially with Final Four MVP Luke Hancock hobbled by an Achilles tendon injury. Ware was expected back for the opener Saturday against the College of Charleston.

But just as fast, Pitino called Ware's number.

''I wanted to get him some minutes just to get over the jitters of being back just in case we used him against Charleston,'' said the coach, who decided before the game to play Ware.

''He's been practicing full bore. I just wanted to see him run around, just run and jump and get some confidence. ''But he's been doing that in practice.''

Obviously, caught off guard, Ware approached the scorer's table slowly to check in. He sat on the floor to a steady rise in noise from the crowd, reaching a crescendo when he entered the game.

''I was a little nervous, actually,'' Ware said. ''I didn't expect to get in so late in the game and me and coach really didn't talk about anything. But when he called my number, I was just ready to get in. I've been waiting for this moment for like 200 and 20 days now.

''It felt great.''

Chris Jones scored 19 points and Montrezl Harrell added 18 in Louisville's final dress rehearsal. The defending national champion Cardinals shot 33 of 64 from the field (51.6 percent) and held the NAIA Bears to 34 percent.

Russ Smith added 12 points, and Wayne Blackshear had 10 for Louisville.

But the story of the night was having Ware back on the court for real.

''It was great,'' Blackshear said. ''He's been practicing the last couple of days and he's been doing great. No hesitation or anything. ... When he went into the game, it's like, he's back now.''

Keala King scored 21 points for Pikeville.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: Props - Kentucky Wildcats
'Cuse holds off Iowa 66-63 at 2K Classic
Virginia halts George Washington, 59-42
Kentucky wins 89-65, Boston U covers
Texas beats Cal 71-55, wins 2K Classic
Florida survives in OT, ULM easily covers
Okafor, Duke romp against Temple, 74-54
Michigan State tops Loyola of Chicago
Kuzma, Utah rough up UC Riverside
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK  Hot Streaks
30-18 L4 Days, +1,538 This Year
14-6 Last 20 CBK Run
6-1 Last 7 Guarantees
7-0 L7 Guaranteed Plays
7-1 Guarantees TY
4-2 NCAA BK Last 3 Days
8-3 Record This Year
6-1 Last 2 Days, 8-2 Last 10
NCAABK College Basketball Expert Sports Picks- Antony Dinero
2014 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1538
Tony Stoffo + 725
Joe Williams + 555
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1380
Tony Stoffo + 750
Joe Williams + 655
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Andy Iskoe 100 %
Stephen Nover 75 %
Jimmy Boyd 73 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 590
Kyle Hunter + 590
Michael Black + 400
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 390
Antony Dinero + 180
Kyle Hunter + 70
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 670
Joe Williams + 400
The Gold Sheet + 370
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest