Louisville came back from a second half deficit on Wednesday night for a narrow 73-69 win over Wake Forest at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cards improve to 8-4 on the season and 2-0 in the ACC. Wake drops to 11-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Noah Locke led Louisville with 17 points and 3 rebounds. Samuell Williamson added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Malik Williams had 11 points and 6 boards of his own. The Cards shot 39.6-percent from the field and 45.5-percent from three. Louisville made 25 of its 34 free throw attempts.
For Wake Forest, Jake LaRavia led all scorers with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Alondes Williams added 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists as well. Dalvien Williamson was in double figures as well with 14 points. The Demon Deacons were held to just 38.1-percent from the field and 25.9-percent from three-point range.
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) December 30, 2021
This was a game that Louisville simply could not afford to lose. It seems ridiculous to say that on Dec. 30, but it felt true heading into Wednesday night. The good news is that the Cards found a way to win, and subsequently gave themselves a lifeline while they still attempt to figure things out at this point in the season.
Regarding the offense, it still seems like a work in progress. Louisville was a bit reliant on the long ball as usual, but one huge positive would be the free throw attempts. After shooting just seven of them in the loss to Western Kentucky, the Cards shot 34 times from the line on Wednesday. A team that shoots as well as this one should be making it a priority to get to the free throw line. We’ll see if they can make an effort to get there more often in the coming weeks.
Beating an 11-1 Wake Forest team is no small deal considering the kind of performances we have seen over the past month from this team. Take into account the recent 10-day COVID pause and it seems even a bit more impressive. You still hope to be better than 8-4 at the end of the calendar year. Somehow, it still seems like Louisville is fortunate to be there right now.
Louisville is on the road for a Sunday night matchup at Georgia Tech on January 2. The game tips at 6:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.