Louisville played like the number one team in the country and led wire-to-wire in a 58-43 win for the unbeaten Cardinals over 4th ranked Michigan on Tuesday night.
Jordan Nwora once again led Louisville with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Steven Enoch had 13 and 10 while Dwayne Sutton added 4 and 11 for the Cards.
Jon Teske was the standout for Michigan. He scored 18 points with 10 boards. Zavier Simpson had 9 points, but only added 3 assists and 1 rebound with 4 turnovers.
Louisville held the red-hot Wolverines to 26 percent shooting from the field and only 3 made three pointers on 19 attempts. Louisville only shot 37 percent from the field in the low-scoring affair.
The game started out slowly for both teams. It was 7-4 at the under 12 timeout. From there, Louisville went on a 11-1 run to extend its lead to 13. The pace picked up a bit, but the Cards held a low scoring 28-18 lead at the break. Jordan Nwora had 10 points and 8 rebounds at the half. Steven Enoch had 8 points and 6 rebounds as well. Jon Teske was the only real threat for the Wolverines in the first half with 8 points and 6 boards.
Louisville did a great job of limiting Michigan’s guards early. Zavier Simpson struggled to get into the paint and even their bigs had trouble catching the ball down low. They had to resort to tough jumpers and were unable to hit them.
Michigan opened up the half on an 8-2 run and cut the Cardinal lead to 4 points. Louisville stretched it back out to a double digit lead and kept it there for the remainder of the game.
Michigan had some chances to cut the lead, but the Cards never really let it get close within the final minutes of the game. Louisville held on for a 15 point win in front of a packed KFC Yum! Center.
This was hardly the back and forth matchup that most maybe expected, but Louisville was able to withstand the slow start en route to a big win.
Credit to the entire Louisville team for playing their most complete 40-minute performance all season. They were dialed in defensively and played a huge role in forcing Michigan into tough shots that they couldn’t connect on.
Louisville had its own struggles on the offensive end, but they were the better team all around, got their lead, and saw out the rest of the game. This is a big win, buts it’s also a move in the right direction in terms of Louisville’s ability to close out a game. Michigan had shown that its more than capable of putting up a big scoring run quickly, but they could not manage to cut the lead late.
It was an overall smart and complete team performance from Louisville. They looked prepared and fought through some offensive struggles that may have doomed them a season ago.
Only time will tell how good this Michigan team ultimately is, but the Cards just beat a legitimately good team in their first true test of the season. This is absolutely something you can get excited about.
Up Next: Louisville hosts Pitt Friday night at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN.