After their first true road loss to Indiana over the weekend, the Cards began a five-game home stand against Lipscomb.
While the game played out like so many have these last few months, Louisville was able to come through in the clutch and beat the Bison 72-68.
Lipscomb was returning almost everybody from last year’s Atlantic Sun Championship team which also led to the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament berth, feats which they are predicted to repeat this season. Their only two losses have come at the hands of arch rival Belmont, and they beat then-#18 TCU back in November.
Jordan Nwora scored Louisville’s first 11 points, but neither team shot very well on the whole for the game.
The Cards were up by nine at one point in the half, but turnovers and a scoring drought as the half worn down let the Bison come back and head into halftime only down 34-33.
Lipscomb’s first bucket of the second half gave them their first lead of the game. The teams traded leads, before a 11-0 Louisville run, sparked primarily by Dwayne Sutton, gave the Cards a double digit lead just under five minutes in.
However Louisville’s offense dried up again, and the Bison responded with a 14-2 run to tie the game up at 52 with just over nine minutes to go.
But thanks primarily to the efforts of Sutton and Malik Williams, the Cards earned another eight-point lead.
Lipscomb stayed annoyingly close for the remainder of the game, which Louisville fans have gotten used to. The Bison battled back and got within one point with 90 seconds to go.
A 5-0 run by the Cards put them ahead in the last minute, and clutch free throws kept them there as time wound down for the win.
Louisville dominated Lipscomb on the glass 49-35, including 16 offensive rebounds which allowed the Cards to score 15 second chance points.
Neither team was able to hit many baskets, as they both shot under 40 percent from the field.
In addition to the shooting, ball control was again an issue for Louisville, who turned the ball over 17 times, allowing the Bison to score 15 points off those turnovers.
Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 22 points on 8-13 shooting. Sutton and Williams also scored in double figures.
Williams was perhaps the player of the game, as he earned his first double-double with ten points and 13 rebounds. He also blocked three shots.
Louisville moves to 7-3 on the season. Lipscomb falls to 7-3.
Louisville will stay home and host Kent State on December 15.<