By Conner Farrell —
Men’s basketball (7-3) began a five-game home stand with a narrow 72-68 victory over Lipscomb (7-3). For their seventh win out of ten matchups, Louisville recovered from a tough loss at Indiana and defeated a veteran NCAA tournament squad.
“Once again, I would like to thank Kenny Klein for this year’s schedule,” head coach Chris Mack said, referring to his sports information director. “We beat a really, really, really good team tonight. And our team knew it.”
Sophomore Jordan Nwora lead the way for the Cardinals with 22 points along with nine rebounds. Fellow sophomore Malik Williams chipped in a double-double with ten points and a career high in rebounds at 13, not to mention three blocks. Redshirt junior Dwayne Sutton also came up big with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The pace of the contest ran fast from the get-go, but subsequently slowed down for the rest of the opening half and largely remained the same throughout.
Nwora scored the first 11 points for U of L and the home team held an 11-4 advantage going into the first media timeout.
With three minutes left in the half, Louisville threatened to go up by double digits at 34-25. The Bisons scored the final eight points of the half to keep in close.
The Cards had only a one point advantage at intermission 34-33.
Lipscomb would keep the second half close by capitalizing on U of L’s turnovers and scoring in the paint. They scored six points off Louisville’s ten turnovers and kept a 14-10 advantage down low.
The first portion of the second half featured the Cards jumping out to their largest lead of the game at 10 points. U of L recorded a 9-0 run capped by a steal from sophomore guard Darius Perry leading to a dunk by Nwora.
Their double digit advantage was short-lived as the Bison answered with a 14-2 run, tying the game at 52-52. Lipscomb shot poorly but stayed in the game through grit and continued Cardinal mistakes.
With less than two minutes to play, Louisville managed to gain the lead but only by one point.
Williams canned a free throw with a minute left to extend the edge to two. Perry came up with a steal on the ensuing Bison possession, and graduate guard Christen Cunningham took advantage by icing the game at 69-65 with an eight-foot fadeaway jumper.
The Cards went on to win 72-68 to remain undefeated at home.
U of L outrebounded the visitors 49-35. Ultimately, turnovers were the name of the game and nearly costed the win, as Louisville surrendered 17 to Lipscomb’s 11.
Men’s basketball is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. as they host Kent State.
You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal