The Louisville men’s basketball team is back in the win column after a close 70-65 win over Duke at home on Saturday. The Cards improved to 10-3 and 5-2 in the ACC. Duke is now just 5-5 and 3-3 in conference play.
Carlik Jones led Louisville once again with 24 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Jae’Lyn Withers added 13 points and 7 boards. David Johnson finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. The Cards shot 46.0 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from long range.
For Duke, Matthew Hurt finished with 24 points and 8 rebounds. DJ Steward added 13 points. Jalen Johnson and Wendell Moore Jr. each finished with 9 points and 4 boards.
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) January 24, 2021
This game was back and forth the entire way with neither team leading by more than 6 points all night. After falling down 27-24 with 5:00 to play, Louisville closed the first half on a 12-6 run to go up 36-33 into the break.
Out of halftime, Duke came out hot to open up a 42-39 lead within three minutes. Louisville responded from there with an 11-2 run and led 50-44 with 13:40 to play. Neither team was able to pull away and Louisville trailed by one with 1:20 left on the clock. The Cards scored the game’s final 6 points en route to its first win since Jan. 13.
This was a much needed win for Louisville in a game that looked like it could go either way. Duke was in desperate need of a victory and seemingly caught all of the breaks throughout the majority of the first 39 minutes. Matthew Hurt had 20 points less than two minutes into the second half. After that, David Johnson was assigned to guard him and Hurt scored just four points during the next 15 minutes before fouling out.
Louisville struggled offensively throughout the entire second half and especially down the stretch. Carlik Jones (19 points) and Jae’Lyn Withers (10) combined to score all but five of the Cards’ 34 second half points. No one besides those two scored a point for Louisville in the final 9:48 of the game. Jones took control of the offense as the game tightened up in the final minutes and he proved once again how indispensable he has been for this team in 2021.
This was a Duke team without a solid win on their resume, but the Blue Devils still have a roster filled with talented players. We will see how this win looks going forward for Louisville, but it was a huge step forward considering how the Cards have played against their toughest opponents so far this season. Now, they are 10-3 and back near the top of the ACC with a full week off between games.
The Cards will stay at home for a Saturday matchup with Boston College at noon ET on January 30th.