Recap: Louisville stymies Michigan in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

samdraut

Louisville men’s basketball didn’t disappoint with its number-one ranking. The top-ranked Cardinals defeated fourth-ranked Michigan 58-43 at the KFC Yum! Center as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Dec. 3.

The Cardinals had their best defensive performance of the year, limiting Michigan to 25.9 percent shooting from the field. 

“It was a grinder of a game,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “I think the story of the game was our defensive effort from the beginning of the game, all the way through.”

Jordan Nwora had a team-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds for Louisville. Steven Enoch finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Sutton added 11 rebounds and four points.

Jon Teske was the only Wolverine to score in double figures, finishing with 18 points on 6 of 18 shooting. 

Neither team started well offensively, combining to shoot 3 of 20 from the field in the opening six-and-a-half minutes. Louisville took a 7-2 lead on a transition layup by Nwora.

Samuell Williamson added a spark of the bench, tipping in a missed 3-pointer from Darius Perry for Louisville’s fourth field goal. A possession later, Perry found Steven Enoch for a 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend Louisville’s lead to 12-4 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half.

Enoch made a jumper from the elbow, followed by a 3-pointer from Ryan McMahon on Louisville’s next possession to push the advantage to 18-5, forcing Wolverine coach Juwan Howard to call a timeout to stop an 11-1 run. Michigan made just 2 of its first 18 shots from the field.

"We played such good defense, they missed a ton of shots," Mack said. 

Louisville took its largest lead of the first half on a hook shot by Enoch with 4:49 left before halftime, giving the Cardinals a 24-9 advantage. Louisville ended the first half shooting 1 of 8 from the field.

After missing its first 3 of 25 shots from the field, Michigan ended the first half making 3 of its final 5 shots to close Louisville’s lead to 28-18 at halftime.

Jon Teske made a pair of free throws as Michigan pulled with four early in the second half, but Nwora scored on back-to-back possessions. 

"I saw they were playing with their five-man, I was able to attack him," Nwora said. 

Lamarr Kimble finished a left-hand layup to return Louisville’s lead to double digits with 14:43 left.

Michigan’s Colin Castleton ended a 10-0 Louisville run with a basket on the low block.

Williamson finished a driving layup and was fouled, giving Louisville a 47-34 lead with 7:36 left. After Michigan closed its deificit to 10 on a 3-pointer by Teske, McMahon found Nwora for a layup with 3:35 left. 

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