Louisville men’s basketball had one of its worst offensive halves of the season as its star player struggled in an annual rivalry. The Cardinals lost to Kentucky 78-70 in Lexington Dec. 28 as the Wildcats outscored Louisville by eight points in overtime at Rupp Arena.
After trailing by double digits in the second half, Louisville fought back to take a possession lead several times late in regulation. The Cardinals held a three-point advantage twice in overtime, but Kentucky closed out the extra period on an 8-0 run for its third straight win in the rivalry.
Louisville shot 35 percent from the field and went 1 of 11 on 3-point attempts in the first half, trailing by eight points at halftime.
Jordan Nwora, Louisville’s leading scorer, never got comfortable. He finished with eight points on 2 of 10 shooting from the field.
Louisville coach Chris Mack said Nwora didn’t play well, so he turned to other players that were playing better.
“I thought he missed some shots that he normally makes,” Mack said. “I think he didn’t really get going on the offensive glass until midway through the second half and it was too late by then. I thought our other guys were playing much harder, so we played other guys.”
With Nwora struggling, Steven Enoch carried Louisville offensively, scoring 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half. The center went 8 of 17 from the field and made one shot from behind the arc.
Mack said the fifth-year senior did what his team needed him to do.
“I thought Steve played his tail off, he got deep post position,” Mack said. “We went to him, he tied the game up, took the lead a couple times. We were trying to go to him.”