By Cole Emery–
No. 11 Louisville defeated No. 3 Duke 79-73 at the Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham Jan. 18.
Active defense and effective transition offense helped the Cardinals create easy baskets to begin the game. Junior Jordan Nwora assisted freshman David Johnson for a voracious slam dunk, giving the Cards an early five point lead.
Duke committed 10 turnovers early in the game which allowed Louisville to secure a 25-10 lead halfway through the first half. During the Louisville run, freshman Samuell Williamson won a loose ball play and was able to finish with a dunk on the other end.
Twenty-two of their first 25 points came from inside the paint for the Cardinals.
Johnson was Duke’s kryptonite during the first half as he was able to score, pass and play defense effectively. He was able to rack up a season high in points during the first half alone by scoring 17. He was also able to dish out four assists, lock down two blocks and swipe a steal.
For Duke in the first half, freshman Cassius Stanley scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Freshman Matthew Hurt scored 11 points and did not miss a three pointer.
Louisville took a 42-32 lead into halftime over Duke.
The second half started off with Duke being able to fight their way back to striking distance, but were never able to reclaim the lead.
Duke tied the game up on two separate occasions, but graduate Fresh Kimble answered both times for the Cardinals with a layup complimented by a free throw and a three pointer by the veteran guard.
Even though the Blue Devils were able to bring the game within one after a couple of steals, clutch free-throw shooting by senior Dwayne Sutton and junior Malik Williams secured the victory for the Cardinals.
Johnson finished with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Even though Johnson had his best game of the year during the contest, he was removed from the game in the final moments due to apparent pain.
Stanley finished the game for Duke with 24 points and racked up 11 rebounds.
Louisville will return home for their next matchup against Georgia Tech Jan. 22 at the KFC YUM! Center.