The #5 Louisville Cardinals opened their season in an unconventional manner, at ACC opponent Miami. And despite starting slow, the Cards would go on to annihilate the Hurricanes 87-74.
The Cards were down three players in their lone preseason game against Bellarmine last week but are getting stronger by the game as Steven Enoch saw time tonight. Malik Williams and David Johnson are still out though.
Miami is dealing with injury issues of their own and were hoping to get a statement win heading into the season.
The Hurricanes went ahead early and was able to stay ahead in the early going. The Cards were able to stay within striking distance though. Louisville had trouble producing any kind of coherent offense. But after Miami went up 16-9 with just under 12 minutes left to go in the half, Louisville outscored the Canes 36-10 for the rest of the half to take a commanding 45-26 lead.
Dwayne Sutton scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes. McMahon added 11.
The Cards continued dominating in the second half. They were up by as much as 32 points, but Miami was able to carve into that as the game wound down, including a 10-0 by the Canes in the final minutes.
Louisville had their way with Miami inside, outrebounding the Canes 40-34 and outscoring them in the paint 42-28. After initial difficulties the Cards also locked down defensively, forcing 10 turnovers then scoring 18 points off those turnovers.
There were some negatives for Louisville in the game. They let off the gas late which allowed Miami to come back somewhat. The Cards also turned the ball over 13 times and had 17 fouls as a team.
But Louisville will be looking to improve as they season goes on, particularly when Malik Williams and David Johnson return to action.
Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch both earned double-doubles. Enoch finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Nwora also grabbed 12 boards while leading all scorers with 23 points, including four three-pointers.
Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon and Samuell Williamson also scored in double-figures. McMahon shot 4-7 from three-point range.
The Cards have their home opener against Youngstown State on November 10 as part of the Global Shootout.<