After a very upsetting loss to Texas Tech in Madison Square Garden, the #1 Louisville Cardinals were looking to bounce back against Eastern Kentucky.
And in a return to normalcy, the Cards smoked the Colonels 99-67.
Louisville’s loss to the Red Raiders on Tuesday was embarrassing but not uncommon in this college basketball season. Three other teams had lost as the top team, most to unranked opponents. And most of those teams went on the crush their next opponents.
Eastern Kentucky was looking to stop the bleeding of a four-game losing streak and be yet another unranked team to collect a #1 scalp.
Neither team could get much of a lead in the early minutes, until the Cards went on a 19-4 run to get a 16-point lead with nine minutes left to go in the half.
The rest of the game played out like an extended apology to Louisville coaches and fans.
The lead only got bigger as the half went on, getting ahead by up to 22 points in the final minutes before settling for a halftime score of 50-32.
The shooting woes that plagued Louisville last game were not present against the Colonels, as they shot 17-27 from field goal range in the first half, including 6-12 three-pointers.
Jordan Nwora had 17 points in the first 20 minutes.
The second half played out much like the first. The Cards increased the lead to 33 points at one time and making a lot more shots than they missed.
Louisville dominated inside, grabbing 35 rebounds and scoring 42 points in the paint.
The Cards also excelled in transition, causing 14 Colonel turnovers and scoring 34 points off those turnovers.
There was some room for improvement though, as Louisville had 16 turnovers of their own, which EKU converted into 18 points.
Louisville had four players score in double figures. Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 26 points on 10-14 shooting. Steven Enoch was right behind him with a career-high 23 points. Both players were also the leading rebounders, each grabbing seven boards.
Dwayne Sutton and Malik Williams put up 11 points each.
Louisville moves to 10-1 on the season (2-0 ACC). Eastern Kentucky falls to 3-7.
The Cards stay at home to see what their new ranking will be and to face Miami (OH) on December 18.<