After playing and winning for over 20 games, the #15 Cards opened their hardest month of the season with a rematch against #9 North Carolina.
This matchup did not go as well as the last one did, however, as the Tar Heels thoroughly beat the Cards 79-69.
Louisville put a historic beatdown on the Tar Heels the last time these two teams met. And no doubt UNC was looking for revenge, with not only bragging rights but also a continued place at the top of the ACC at stake.
The two teams stayed close for the first part of the game, but poor shooting and defense by the Cards let the Tar Heels dominate both in scoring and on the boards as the half wore on. Louisville got down by as much as 19 during the first 20 minutes, their largest deficit of the season.
The Cards were able to get closer, but still went into halftime down 44-28.
UNC was able to drive inside at will and shoot over 48 percent from the field during the half, while also outrebounding Louisville 28-12, including seven offensive rebounds to the Cards’ zero.
Christen Cunningham scored nine point in the first 20 minutes.
The Cards were unable to get closer than 17-15 points for most of the game. Three straight Dwayne Sutton three-pointers got the score to within 9 at the midpoint of the second half, but the Tar Heels got back up to double-digits fairly quickly.
The Cards whittled the lead down to 10 points as the game wore down, but never could get the the deficit back to single-digits.
The Cards continued to get dominated on the boards, getting out rebounded 49-32 for the game. The Tar Heels were also able to take advantage of 11 Louisville turnovers, scoring 19 points off those turnovers.
Dwayne Sutton led the Cards with 19 points on 7-12 shooting. He was also a couple rebounds away from another double-double, grabbing eight boards to lead the team.
Christen Cunningham and Jordan Nwora also scored in double-figures.
Louisville falls to 16-6 on the season (8-2 ACC). North Carolina moves to 17-4 (7-1 ACC).
The Cards have no time to rest, as they have to travel to #12 Virginia Tech on February 4.<
Chris Acree joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2016.