Recap: Louisville offense overwhelms N.C. Central

samdraut

Louisville men’s basketball continued its torrent offensive streak, defeating N.C. Central 87-58 in the second game of the Global Sports Shootout at the KFC Yum! Center Nov. 17. Louisville shot 67 percent from the field for its fourth straight win to start the season. 

The Cardinals went into Sunday’s game leading the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in field goal percentage (54.1 percent), which ranks ninth nationally.

“I thought our guys did a really good job of being patient, taking what was there,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said.

Jordan Nwora had a team-high 17 points while Steven Enoch finished with 15 points and five rebounds for Louisville. Dwayne Sutton had 12 points while Darius Perry added 11 points and seven assists.

Louisville used another hot start to take an 8-0 lead three minutes into the game. Steven Enoch made a jump hook on the low block, Nwora made a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Darius Perry drove and kicked to Ryan McMahon for another shot from behind the arc.

“We have been working on getting in the lane a little more,” Perry said. “If we get in the lane, good things happen.”

The Cardinals made 3 of their first 4 shots against N.C. Central. Louisville made its first 11 shots last week against Youngstown State and 9 of their first 10 field goal attempts Wednesday against Indiana State.

Sutton scored on back-to-back possessions, making a corner 3-pointer and then scoring on a driving baseline layup that extended Louisville’s lead to 18-6 with 10:56 left in the first half. 

“I try to go out and compete every possession,” Sutton said. “I think I did a pretty good job of it today.”

Enoch sealed off a defender and McMahon delivered a pass to setup a dunk. 

“Steven obviously had a really good first half, we were trying to go to him,” Mack said. “He was getting some work done. He is a load.”

The Cardinals assisted on six of their first seven field goals, leading 20-8 through the first 11 minutes.

A 12-0 run helped Louisville extend its lead to more than 20 points later in the first half. Louisville ended the final 5:41 of the first half on a 19-4 run, finishing the first half shooting 65 percent from the field.

Perry ended a brief 6-0 N.C. Central run by scoring on consecutive possession, making a midrange jumper and 3-pointer early in the second half.

Louisville maintained a lead larger than 20 points for the remainder of the second half. Mack used freshmen for the final part of the second half as Josh Nickelberry, Quinn Slazinski and Aidan Igiehon all played more than five minutes.

Mack said his team was good defensively in the first half, but struggled in the final eight minutes against N.C. Central, a team that shot 33 percent from the field against Louisville. 

“I’m not going to last the last seven, eight minutes of the game taint what I thought was a really good first 30 minutes,” Mack said.

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