The Louisville Cardinals have regained their rightful place amongst the top five teams in the nation, and now they had to keep it against Wake Forest.
After a poor first half…again…Louisville battled back…again…to beat the Demon Deacons 86-76.
The Cards haven’t been in the top five since 2019. Such a position has been a precarious one in college basketball this season with ranked teams falling right and left, often to unranked opponents. Wake is currently treading water at the bottom of the ACC and would love to collect a ranked scalp as they try to get back to .500.
Like so many of Louisville’s other opponents, the Deacons had a hard time missing early. They went on a 18-4 run in the middle of the half to get up to a 15-point lead at one point in the first. The Cards couldn’t really get any closer and went into halftime down 46-34.
Wake Forest shot 60 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. Louisville barely hit 40 percent of their shots.
Jordan Nwora had 12 points in the first half.
Whatever curse had been afflicting the Cards in the first half was lifted in the second. Louisville gained the lead thanks to a 15-0 run early in the second half. Everyone started scoring and the Cards got up to a 13-point lead as the game wound down.
Although a win a win, Coach Chris Mack and the rest of the team were looking for a much better performance against a team at the opposite end of the conference standings.
Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 21 points on 6-12 shooting.
Dwayne Sutton earned a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He also got four assists.
Lamar “Fresh” Kimble, Ryan McMahon, Steven Enoch and Malik Williams all also scored in double-figures.
Louisville moves to 20-3 for the year (11-1 ACC). Wake Forest falls to 10-12 (3-9 ACC).
The Cards stay at home for a matchup against much-hated Virginia on February 8.<