In the 15 games the #13 Louisville Cardinals have played before today, 13 were either at home or neutral sites. The Card’s next three games are all on the road, their first and longest road trip of the season, starting with Notre Dame.
In a game played much like past contests, right down to the wire, Louisville edged out a narrow 67-64 victory over the Irish.
Notre Dame has been an annual thorn in Louisville’s side stretching back to the Big East days. Fans of both squads remember the dozens if not hundreds of overtimes. A Louisville team from a previous year is rumored to still be out there playing the Irish somewhere in the mists of time.
Louisville stopped their losing streak at two-games with their last victory against Miami, but the Cards certainly didn’t play their best game and still have a lot to improve upon as their conference schedule begins in earnest.
The Irish have had a pair of two-game losing streaks so far this season, and desperately need to start winning if they have any hope of doing anything in the ACC.
Notre Dame went up to an early five-point lead, but the Cards figured themselves out offensively and quickly pulled away.
A 19-3 run gave Louisville a 16-point lead with just over five minutes to go in the first half, and it stayed in double digits as the teams went into halftime with a 36-24 Louisville lead.
Ryan McMahon and Jordan Nwora each scored 12 point each in the first 20 minutes.
The Cards weren’t out of the woods yet, as the Irish opened the second half with a 11-1 run to get within two points. The game stayed close, with Notre Dame retaking the lead with about seven minutes left to go.
The teams swapped leads as the game wound down, but Louisville stayed in it thanks mainly to Dwayne Sutton and Lamar “Fresh” Kimble. Notre Dame was down by three with the ball as the game reached its end, but couldn’t get a shot to go in.
Jordan Nwora led the Cards with 20 points on 7-15 shooting. Ryan McMahon added 17.
Dwayne Sutton earned a double-double with 10 points and team-leading 14 rebounds.
Louisville moves to 13-3 for the year (4-1 ACC). Notre Dame falls to 10-6 (1-4 ACC).
The Cards stay on the road to face Pittsburgh on January 14.<