Recap: Louisville defeats WKU

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Louisville men’s basketball wouldn’t allow an opponent back into another game. The Cardinals defeated Western Kentucky (WKU) 71-54 in Nashville Nov. 29 using a hot start and strong finish to improve to 7-0.

Louisville took a double-digit lead early in the first half, but WKU closed its deficit to nine midway through the second half. After allowing Akron last Sunday to trim their 22-point lead to two possessions late in the second half, the Cardinals didn’t allow WKU to come as close. WKU didn’t make a field goal in the final two-and-a-half minutes.

Jordan Nwora scored a game-high 25 points on 8 of 15 shooting for Louisville. Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and seven rebounds.

Taveion Hollingsworth had a team-high 16 points while Charles Bassey finished with 14 points for WKU.

Louisville burst out to a 9-0 lead in the opening four minutes as WKU missed its first seven shots. Dwayne Sutton made a 3-pointer and scored on low-block pass from Steven Enoch during the run.

Nwora made two 3-pointers on catch-and-shoot situations, one from the top of the key and another from the wing to extend Louisville’s lead to 21-7 with 12:25 left in the first half. WKU missed 10 of its first 13 shots.

After WKU ended a scoring drought that went on for more than four minutes, Sutton scored on a back-to-back possession, sending down a put-back dunk and making a long 3-pointer to give Louisville a 28-9 lead with 8:39 left in the first half.

Louisville struggled shooting late in the first half, going more than five minutes without a made field goal. WKU couldn’t take advantage of a first half that ended with Louisville shooting 1 of 7 from the field, trimming its deficit to 37-23 at halftime on a basket by Charles Bassey as time expired.

Bassey scored on three consecutive possessions early in the second half, helping WKU close its deficit to 12 points. A steal by Josh Anderson led to a fast break dunk, cutting Louisville’s advantage to 10 points.

Bassey made a pair of free throws with 9:35 left to bring WKU within nine, the first time the Hilltoppers were within single digits since the 13:50 mark in the first half.

Malik Williams answered the 11-4 WKU run with a basket while Nwora followed with two free throws. Nwora capped a 7-0 run with a long 3-pointer to give Louisville a 58-42 advantage.

The second-ranked Cardinals are set to move to the number one spot nationally in next week’s poll following a Duke loss to Stephen F. Austin earlier this week.

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