With a three-game win streak on the line and a hated foe around the corner, the Cards continued their home stand against Robert Morris.
Despite playing perhaps their worst half of basketball this season, Louisville was able to turn it around and grab a 73-59 victory.
The Colonials have not had the most successful season so far, having lost four games in a row going into this game. Louisville was without starting point guard Christen Cunningham, who was out with a concussion suffered during practice earlier in the week.
The first half was not the best 20 minutes the Cards have played this year. Robert Morris made most of their shots, while Louisville struggled to find any scoring at all. The Colonials went up to a 11-point lead around six minutes into the half.
The Colonials’ shooting dried up up as the first half wound down and Louisville was able to surge, making a 12-0 run to gain the lead with just over a minute left to go in the half. Robert Morris made two layups in the final minute to go into halftime with a 32-29 lead.
Robert Morris went on a little run to start the second half, getting back up to an eight-point lead, however that appeared to be the spark that the Cards had been looking for all game, as they responded with a 9-0 run to gain a lead of their own, as soon ran away with it. The Colonials’ great shooting of the first half cratered in the second and they could not put up enough offense to challenge Louisville again.
The Cards will have plenty of things to improve on after this game. Turnovers continue to be a thorn in Louisville’s side, with 16 for the game.
This contest also highlighted what may be the the Cards greatest offensive deficiency, the lack of a consistent second scorer. Louisville has relied on Jordan Nwora for most of their points in the first few months of the season, and he has delivered. But supplemental scoring has come from a half-dozen different players so far this year, with little consistency from game to game. When Nwora struggled early, no one stepped in to pick up the slack which led to their first-half deficits.
But the Cards righted the ship, and performed well in other categories such as rebounded to get the victory and a confidence boost heading into next week’s matchup against Kentucky.
Nwora earned another double-double for the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds, leading all players in those categories.
Dwayne Sutton and Steven Enoch also scored in double figures.
The Cards move to 9-3 on the year. Robert Morris falls to 4-8 on the season.
Louisville plays host to archrival #19 Kentucky on December 29.<
Chris Acree joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2016.