The #15 Louisville Cardinals braved a polar vortex to face Wake Forest.
And the Cards unleashed a blizzard against the Deacons on their way to a 82-54 victory.
Wake Forest is at the bottom end of the ACC this season, but it’s lone conference win did come over then-#17 NC State.
Louisville was wary of trap games now that they were rising in the rankings and were looking down the barrel of their February schedule.
Louisville went out to an early 6-0 lead. The Deacons started scoring but thanks to a lot of three-pointers from the Cards contributed to a major run to increase the lead to 23 points by halftime, going into the locker rooms up 48-25.
Jordan Nwora had 17 points in the half, and Louisville made eight of their 13 three pointers.
The Cards continued to pile it on in the second half. Getting up by as much as 35 at one point before letting up on the gas a little. Louisville went over four minutes without scoring and let the deficit decrease, though not enough to let the Deacons seriously threaten.
Nwora led all scorers with 20 points on 8-15 shooting.
Dwayne Sutton had his fourth double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Malik Williams also scored in double figures.
While the Cards had a commanding win, their struggles in the late game will surely concern a coaching staff that needs the team at their peak performance for the next month.
While initially dominating Wake Forest on the boards, Louisville did let the Deacons close the rebounding gap and finished only ahead 42-39.
Louisville moves to 16-5 on the season (7-1 ACC). Wake Forest falls to 8-12 (1-7 ACC).
Playtime is over, and now the real work begins for the Cards as they host a rematch against #9 North Carolina, the first of five ranked teams they will face in February.<
Chris Acree joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2016.