By John McCarthy —
Louisville men’s basketball topped Pittsburgh 64-46 at the KFC Yum! Center Dec. 6.
This was the second ACC game for both Louisville and Pittsburgh and the Cardinals improved to 2-0 in conference play, and 9-0 overall.
The Cardinals stepped onto the court featuring their grey uniforms, and off the tip and senior Steven Enoch slammed a forceful dunk assisted by junior Darius Perry.
Following Enoch’s slam, the Cardinals displayed early sharpshooting by Enoch and seniors Ryan MacMahon and Dwyane Sutton.
Head coach Chris Mack said, “Those were open shots, we were not taking ill-advised shots.”
In the first half, the Cardinals shot better from the three-point line than they did from the field. They shot 9-17 from three and 13-26 from the field, compared to only 10 total shots made from the field for Pittsburgh.
After making Pittsburgh beware of the three, junior Malik Williams took the ball into the paint and pump-faked two defenders for the patient layup. The Cardinals took a dominant 35-21 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, the Panthers sparked a 10-2 run and brought their deficit to single digits by the 13:30 mark.
With 11 minutes left in the second half, junior Jordan Nwora immediately headed to the locker room with the training staff for an apparent shoulder injury, but came back after the television timeout.
While Nwora was out, Pittsburgh fought their way back to a 47-42 deficit with nine minutes left. Following a foul on the floor which put the Cardinals into the bonus, a technical foul was called on the Panthers bench.
This was the tipping point that led to a 17-4 run by Louisville that ended the game.
To finish the game, Nwora had 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and only one turnover. Williams finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and one turnover. The Cardinals were able to play smart defense against the Panthers, allowing only six free throw shots in the game.
The Cardinals will face off in the Jimmy V Classic Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. against Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is the first destination game for the Cardinals this season, giving them the opportunity to shine in the national spotlight.
File Photo // The Louisville Cardinals