The #7 Louisville Cardinals ended their non-conference schedule on a down note with yet another loss to Kentucky. They hoped to start their ACC slate properly with a win over #18 Florida State.
The Cards’ struggles against long, athletic teams continued apace as they suffered their second-straight loss 78-65.
These two squads looked to be fighting for the top spot in the conference by season’s end. Florida State has been dominant all year apart from two head-scratching losses to Indiana and Pittsburgh. Louisville’s looking to bounce back as they did after their first loss against Texas Tech.
The teams stayed close early. Jordan Nwora didn’t really show up for Kentucky game but more than made up for it in this contest, scoring 21 points in the first half.
Unfortunately, nobody else could score. The rest of the Cards combined for 11 points in the first 20 minutes, and that was just three guys, Steven Enoch, Lamar “Fresh” Kimble and David Johnson.
Meanwhile the Seminoles had a hard time missing shots, shooting just over 55 percent from the floor including 7-16 from beyond the arc. This combined with stout interior defense from FSU led to them being up over Louisville 39-32 at the half.
In the second half the Cards went on a few runs to get close, but the Seminoles always had a response, usually in the form of a couple of threes. They got the lead up to 15 with less than three minutes to go. And Louisville couldn’t get close as the game ended.
Turnovers were also a problem. The Cards turned the ball over 16 times, which the Seminoles converted to 18 points.
Louisville’s guards were outsized, outshot, out defended and outworked by their bigger FSU counterparts. The Seminoles also hampered the Cardinal big men, locking down Steven Enoch and Malik Williams.
More Louisville players were scoring but it wasn’t nearly enough to match FSU. Jordan Nwora had one of his best games ever, scoring 32 points on 11-15 shooting, and earning a double-double with ten rebounds. But the next-highest scorer was Steven Enoch with ten points.
Louisville falls to 11-3 on the season (2-1 ACC). Florida State moves to 13-2 (3-11 ACC).
The Cards stay at home for a rematch against Miami on January 7.<