Men’s basketball secures victory in final moments Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

By John McCarthy–

No. 5 Louisville men’s basketball defeated Virginia 80-73 at home in a tight matchup.

The two ACC teams showed down in the KFC Yum! Center Feb. 8. The Cardinals were able to extend their winning streak to ten games.

Before the game, the University of Louisville (20-4, 11-2) honored its 1980 National Championship team led by Darrell Griffith. 

The hype of the Yum! Center helped push the Cardinals out to an early lead over the Cavaliers. Louisville bottomed five or their first six from the three-point line. The Cardinals first 15 points came via the three-point shot.

As a collective, Louisville shot 53.3% from three in the first half. The Cardinals were able to out rebound Virginia (15-7, 8-3) in the first half, leading to multiple second chance buckets that put the Cardinals up big going into the locker room.

Going into halftime, Louisville led the Cavaliers 44-30. 

In the second half the Cardinals witnessed a different Virginia team. Virginia fired back, and shot 53% from the field as a team. They also found success from the three-ball, sinking 50% of the threes they attempted.

The difference between the two ACC rivals was the rebounding category. Louisville hustled on the boards to out-rebound Virginia by 12.

With time winding down late in the second half, Junior Malik Williams went in for a two-handed flush and was hit hard, but there was no foul call on the dunk attempt. Seconds later on the other end of the floor, a foul was called on Louisville. Coach Chris Mack was furious with the call, and in turn was called for the technical foul.

This ignited a flame beneath the Cardinals for the remainder of the game. Immediately after the technical foul, freshman David Johnson hit a jumper from the elbow. Louisville went on to shutdown the Cavalier offense and hit all of their free-throws to win 80-73. 

Junior Jordan Nwora finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. Senior Steven Enoch finished with 13 points and two rebounds. Williams finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Although they are currently unranked, Virginia has not been an easy task for Louisville in the past. Nwora said, “We have had a bunch of chances to beat them, and somehow they always find a way to win. It was good just being able to finish the deal today.”

Louisville’s next match will be at McCamish Pavilion where they will take on Georgia Tech. The game is Feb. 12 beginning at 8 p.m.

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Louisville basketball suffers first loss of season in Jimmy V Classic Wednesday, Dec 11 2019 

By Luke Graham —

Louisville basketball put their perfect season on the line against the national championship runner up Texas Tech at the Jimmy V Classic Dec. 10 at Madison Square Garden. They lost 70-57.

This loss is an important loss to the Cardinals (9-1, 2-0) early on in their season. This allows them to humble themselves without getting overconfident. With a tough schedule ahead in December and January, the team should be able to power through with a chip on their shoulder.

The first half was pretty shaky for the Cards as Texas Tech (6-3, 0-0)  was the better team in the first half and Louisville had just three field goals.

Senior Steven Enoch had a nice first half, but was not being fed the amount underneath the basket early. Once the Cards started getting the ball into the paint senior Ryan McMahon nailed a three to cut the deficit.

Enoch would finish the first half with five rebounds and had 10 points going four of five shooting and junior Jordan Nwora had five points.

Louisville started the second half slow, but Texas Tech got in foul trouble and had some key players on the bench at the 10 minute mark.

Louisville started to trap late in the second half, but the traps would not be enough and Texas Tech would counter.

Nwora finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

This year, college basketball is wide open, and Louisville had their turn in the top spot for now. It is possible they could find themselves there again but for now it is on to the next team.

It bears mentioning how impressive this team has been during the Chris Mack era. This team did not make the tournament two years ago, had a first round loss last year and held the top spot in the country this year.

Louisville looks to bounce back at noon on Dec. 14 against Eastern Kentucky University on the ACC Network. The game will be at the KFC Yum! Center.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L basketball topples Western Kentucky 71-54 Saturday, Nov 30 2019 

By Luke Graham — 

The No.2 Cards basketball topped Western Kentucky in Nashville Nov. 30 with a final score of 71-54.

The Cards (7-0, 1-0) ended the first half up 37-23. Junior Jordan Nwora stayed hot as usual and shot 50 percent from the field and behind the 3-point line and finished the first half with 11 points. Senior Dwayne Sutton led the Cards with 14 points going into the 2nd half.

Louisville did seem to lose a bit of momentum in the first half while at one-point up, 21-7. They looked to keep the lead on their end in the 2nd half regardless of the WKU (6-2, 0-0) run.

Louisville held on after a back-and-forth 2nd half before they won the game.

Nwora led the Cards with 25 points while Sutton would add just one more point to his box score in the second half and finish with 15 points. Junior Malik Williams led the Cards with nine rebounds while coming off the bench.

The Cards came into this game just needing to hold on for a win to likely become the No.1 team in the country with the next set of rankings after Duke suffered a shocking loss. While this win was not as convincing as some of their other ones it sure looks like it will put the Cards in the top spot when the new rankings come out.

With Coach Chris Mack possibly leading the Cards into the one spot in the beginning of his second year, it is safe to say he is ahead of schedule.

Louisville will look to stay undefeated in the Big Ten/ACC challenge against Michigan (7-0, 0-0) on Dec. 3 at 7:30pm. The game will be played in the KFC Yum! Center.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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