The Global Sports Shootout thus concluded; the #2 Louisville Cardinals traveled down to Nashville to face Western Kentucky.
And the Cards certainly played like a top team, beating the Hilltoppers 71-54.
WKU and Louisville have met several times these last few years, and the Tops have played spoiler to a top-5 Cardinal team in Nashville before. With #1 Duke losing to unranked Stephen F. Austin on November 26, Louisville is primed to take the top spot with a win against Western.
The Cards went on a 9-0 run to start the game. While the Tops scored occasionally, they couldn’t match the offensive output of Louisville who quickly got up to a 19-point lead in the first half. As the half wore on the Cards began to slip some offensively and WKU whittled the lead down to a halftime score of 37-23 Louisville.
The lead was thanks in part to Louisville making five of their 13 three-point shots while the Tops were only able to make one.
Dwayne Sutton scored 14 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Both teams struggled offensively as the second half began, with WKU going on a little run to get the deficit down to nine points with just under ten minutes to go in the game. The Cards went on a 12-2 run after that to get the lead back up to 19 points. Louisville would continue to score and increase the lead to 21 points as the game wound down before the Tops scored a few more points to get to the final score.
The Cards outrebounded WKU 39-25, which led to 16 second chance points. They also had a clear advantage beyond the arc, making seven three-pointers to WKU’s one.
Louisville did struggle in some areas though. They turned the ball over 14 times, which the Hilltoppers converted to 18 points.
Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 25 points on 8-15 shooting. Dwayne Sutton was the only other
Louisville player to score in double-figures with 15 points.
Malik Williams was the leading rebounder, grabbing nine boards.
Louisville moves to 7-0 on the season (1-0 ACC). WKU falls to 6-2.
This victory means that the Cards will likely be #1 in the nation. And will have to put their top-ranking immediately to the test as they face Michigan on December 3.<