The University of Louisville Cardinals took on in-state rival the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels and responded with a 99-67 victory Saturday afternoon.
The number one ranked team in the country sought to rebound after a tough loss to un-ranked Texas Tech.
At game start, the teams traded buckets. EKU came out aggressively attacking the rim. But, their execution began to suffer as Louisville’s defense adjusted following the first media timeout.
The game turned with a thunderous dunk from All-American candidate Jordan Nwora that brought the crowd to their feet. As the game shifted, EKU employed a full-press defense. Louisville pushed the ball up the court with excellent ball movement, leading to back-to-back threes.
With more than ten minutes in the first half, those threes brought the score to double-digits. Louisville finished 17-27 from the field and 6-12 from the Land of Three.
In the Cards
Nwora lead the team in points with 17 and went a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc. Louisville turned up its defense, causing nine turnovers resulting in transition points for Louisville. Malik Williams hit a baseline jumper at the buzzer, giving Louisville a 50-32 lead at halftime.
Louisville picked up right where they left off at halftime with excellent ball movement leading to more points from the Land of Three. The Cardinals played inside out, using their presence on the block to score 42 points in the paint.
Additionally, Louisville produced 14 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds. Even so, the story of the game was points off turnovers and fast-break points. Although Louisville had two more turnovers than EKU, they cashed in on 34 turnover points from EKU. Louisville scored 12 fast-break points while EKU scored none.
Nwora scored 26 points to lead all scorers. Steven Enoch was second with a career- high 23 points. EKU’s top scorer was Ty Taylor with 13 points. All in all, it was a superb effort from the Cardinals that won the day.
“Steve, obviously, was crazy efficient,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said afterward. “He’s had those type of shots before, and I don’t know if I can remember him going 90% from the field, and we gave him an awful lot of opportunities and attempts.”
While Louisville will lose their number one ranking, they should stay in the top 5. Their next game will be against Miami of Ohio on Wednesday. Then will have a Christmas break before they return to the court in one of the best rivals in college basketball against the University of Kentucky.