Louisville soars past North Carolina


No. 11 Louisville (23-5, 14-3) made slight work of visiting North Carolina (10-17, 3-13), downing the Tar Heels 72-55. Louisville tightens their grip on the top spot in the ACC standings with the win.

Louisville defeated Carolina inside the KFC Yum! Center for the first time since 2016, snapping a two-game home losing streak. 

Forward Jordan Nwora recorded his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Center Malik Williams added 17 points and nine rebounds. 

Guard David Johnson's impact continues to grow as the freshman scored nine points and dished out five assists.

The Cardinals had 18 points off turnovers and out-rebounded the Tar Heels 38-29. 

A cold start for both teams ended with an exchange of three straight made shots on both sides. Guard Ryan McMahon pumped life into the arena with a crossover, step back 3-pointer. 

Following the McMahon three, Louisville missed their next four shots as well as turning the ball over twice. A UNC scoring drought held the game level. A transition three from Nwora just before the eight-minute media timeout gave the Cardinals a 20-14 lead. 

In the final five minutes, Louisville went 7-of-9. Guard Lamarr Kimble sprung the Cardinals into the half with a 13-point lead. Kimble capped the half with a steal and finish on the fast break followed by a behind the back, step back jumper over UNC's Cole Anthony. 

North Carolina started the second half missing their first nine shots as the Louisville lead swelled to 24 points. Nwora's two 3-pointers each felt like daggers despite more than 15 minutes remaining on the clock. 

The Tar Heels put together a 7-0 run, but Louisville bounced back by knocking down four of their next five shots. UNC's offensive burst late in the game put them within 15 minutes. 

Louisville travels to Florida State Monday, Feb. 24 for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.