It certainly wasn’t pretty and it took much longer to get full separation than expected, but the Louisville Cardinals got their first win of the season against George Mason by a final score of 72-61.
Louisville sputtered offensively at times, and while Deng Adel turned in an impressive performance, freshmen Jordan Nwora and Darius Perry stepped up when needed most. Both freshmen were fearless down the stretch, hitting big time shots to fuel Louisville’s late run to put the game away. Nwora finished with 10 points including 3-3 shooting from beyond-the-arc. Perry provided intensity and energy to go along with his 17 points (3-3 from 3 point range and 8-8 from the free throw line). Deng Adel led the Cards in scoring with 20 points.
Louisville went into halftime trailing 27-24 and spent a good chunk of the 2nd half playing catch-up. However, the Cards shook off the slow start and outscored George Mason 48-34 in the second half en route to their 11-point victory.
It was the first game, so of course there was some sloppy play. But for the Cards to surge back after trailing for a lot of the game showed this team has resiliency and faith in each guy in uniform. It’s always nice for freshmen to play well, but for Nwora and Perry to step in and make such big plays in the most crucial moments of the game was very impressive.
Congratulations to David Padgett on his win as a head coach! There is a lot to be excited about with this group, let’s enjoy the ride.
Up next: Louisville hosts Omaha on Friday at 7pm.