Three players finished with double figures
LOUISVILLE – December 6, 2019 – Gary Graves (AP)
Jordan Nwora scored 19 points, Malik Williams had 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and No. 1 Louisville used a 17-4 second-half run to pull away from Pittsburgh for a 64-46 victory Friday night.
After shooting 37% in their previous game against No. 4 Michigan, the Cardinals (9-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) came out firing from long range. Every player had at least one 3-pointer as they went 9 of 17 from behind the arc and 13 for 26 overall in the first half. Nwora was the last to join the party but made shots from elsewhere before hitting another 3 as Louisville finished with 11 in all.
Nwora left the game briefly in the second half after injuring his left shoulder, part of a cold stretch for Louisville that allowed Pittsburgh (7-3, 1-1) to get within 43-38. The Cardinals answered with their big run that featured 13 straight points and Nwora’s steal and breakaway dunk.
Williams meanwhile had season highs in points and rebounds after missing the first four games with a foot injury. Ryan McMahon had three 3s for 11 points as Louisville ended Pittsburgh’s five-game winning streak.
Xavier Johnson had 15 points for the Panthers before fouling out. Pittsburgh dropped its 22nd consecutive ACC road game and fell short in its bid to earn a victory over the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Pittsburgh: Of the four Panthers starters averaging double figures in scoring, only Johnson had some initial success against Louisville’s defense. Reserve forward Eric Hamilton, who entered averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds over his previous four games, contributed 10 points but other Panthers struggled as they finished shooting 38% from the field.
Louisville: When seven Cardinals make 3s before Nwora, that’s a good sign. They ended up shooting 47% and gained a 33-29 edge on the glass and 24-22 in paint points.
Louisville’s successful week should keep the team at the top of the rankings.
Pittsburgh hosts Northern Illinois on Dec. 16.
Louisville faces Texas Tech on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic in New York.