By Sam Draut–
Final- Louisville defeats UNC 71-65. Lee scores 24 points as Louisville picks up its biggest win of the year.
26 seconds left- Louisville leads 69-65. Lewis made both free-throws after being fouled.
1:55 second half- Louisville leads UNC 65-61. Pitino calls a timeout after Louisville puts together two poor possessions on the offensive end and UNC trims the deficit to four.
3:48 second half- Louisville leads UNC 65-57. Onuaku picked up his fourth personal foul. Final media timeout. Louisville and North Carolina each have two timeouts left, it will be a back and forth pace these final minutes.
5:15 second half- Louisville leads 63-55. Onuaku made an alley-oop layup and was fouled and then hit the free-throw.
6:59 second half- Louisville leads UNC 58-51. Lewis hit an 18-foot jumper, Williams calls a timeout. Louisville has its largest lead of the game. The jumper was the first made field goal by Lewis.
9:09 second half- Louisville leads UNC 55-51. Lee has made two three-pointers in the past 55 seconds, the crowd is rocking after the second one dropped. Lee now has 22 points, it is his seventh game with 20 or more points.
11:17 second half- Louisville leads UNC 47-45. Mitchell made a midrange jumper the previous possession become the second Cardinal in double-figures.
15:44 second half- Louisville leads UNC 41-40. Back and forth game, the pace continues to get going after a slower first half. Lee is up to 16 points.
17:37 second half- Louisville and UNC tied 34-34. Rick Pitino calls a timeout after a few breakdowns on the defensive end of the floor. The pace really picked up to begin to the second period, Louisville opened on a 5-0 run, but UNC responded with a 5-0 run of its own. Marcus Paige made his three-pointer, if he gets going, it adds another dynamic to the Tar Heel attack.
Halftime- Louisville leads UNC 28-27. Lee has 11 points and is 4 of 7 from the field, the rest of the team is shooting 5 of 21 (23-percent). Louisville has held UNC to 7 of 23 from the field. The halftime statistics are eerily similar, both teams have nine turnovers, Louisville holds the rebounding edge 21 to 17, Louisville’s field goal shooting percentage is 32-percent while North Carolina’s is 30-percent. Onuaku played nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but will return to action in the second half.
2.7 seconds left before halftime- Louisville leads UNC 28-27. Coach Roy Williams calls a timeout. On the Cardinals previous possession, the shot clock expired before Anas Mahmoud made his layup.
3:33 first half- UNC leads Louisville 24-23. Lee picks up an offensive foul on a drive to the basket in transition. On the previous possession, the fifth-year graduate transfer drilled a deep pull-up three-pointer on a fast break. He has nine points.
5:49 firs half- UNC leads Louisville 22-18. Lee had a strong drive to the basket and fouled on 10-foot floater.
7:25 first half- UNC leads Louisville 20-16. Cardinals are struggling on the offensive end, shooting 5 of 18 for 28-percent from the field. The Tar Heels are extending out on screens set on the perimeter, hurting the Cardinals ability to drive the ball to the basket.
10:52 first half- Onuaku picks up his second foul and heads to the bench, more than likely he will sit for the remainder of the first half.
11:41 first half- Louisville and UNC tied 9-9. Onuaku picked up his first foul on the previous possession. With Carolina’s size and length in the front-court, Onuaku must stay away from picking up his second foul or he will sit the remainder of the first half.
14:51 first half- Louisville leads North Carolina 6-6. Mitchell had a strong take to the basket and was fouled, the freshman will shoot two free-throws after the media timeout. The Cardinals half-court offense is really struggling to find fluidity, the Tar Heels are denying the ball and keep guards dribbling around the perimeter.
16:20 first half- Donovan Mitchell and Ray Spalding are the first Cardinals off the bench replacing Lewis and Johnson.
19:28 first half- Louisville’s first possession ends in a shot clock violation. Disjointed and awful opening sequence for the Cardinals, Johnson held the ball on the perimeter for 10 seconds.
Starting five- Trey Lewis, Quentin Snider, Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.
After 11th-ranked Virginia suffocated Louisville 63-47 on Saturday, the Cardinals turn their attention to second-ranked North Carolina. The Tar Heels (19-2 overall, 8-0 in the ACC) are currently on a 12-game winning-streak and hold a two-game lead over Louisville in the ACC conference standings.
Louisville’s 47-point output against Virginia was its lowest this season. The Cardinals must get back to some semblance of continuity of half-court offense against North Carolina, a team averaging 85.8 points per game.
Chinanu Onuaku strung together six-consecutive double-doubles, but has battled illness the past week. He played only 14 minutes last Wednesday against Virginia Tech and played 19 minutes on Saturday.