LOUISVILLE, KY – The most impressive thing about Louisville's response to Pittsburgh's comeback attempt was how quickly and effectively the No. 1 Cardinals shut it down.
Not unlike the way they started.
Jordan Nwora scored 19 points, Malik Williams had 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and Louisville used a 17-4 second-half run to pull away from Pittsburgh for a 64-46 victory Friday night.
After shooting 37% in their previous game against No. 4 Michigan, the Cardinals (9-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) came out firing from long range. Every player had at least one 3-pointer as they went 9 of 17 from behind the arc and 13 for 26 overall in the first half. Nwora was the last to join the party but made shots from elsewhere before hitting another 3 as Louisville finished with 11 in all.
Nwora left the game briefly in the second half after injuring his left shoulder, part of a cold stretch for Louisville that allowed Pittsburgh (7-3, 1-1) to trim the margin to 43-38. The Cardinals answered with their big run that featured 13 straight points and Nwora's steal and breakaway dunk.
“I think it's two games in a row where we got stops, we didn't allow second shots," coach Chris Mack said. “We ran the clock on offense. We got great looks. We got layups. And that's a killer.
“Defensively, you take a few more chances when you're that team that's behind and you're desperate to get back in it. And for us to be able to get the ball reversed, set the screens that we wanted, get layups, that's just backbreaking."
That wasn't easy against the physical Panthers, who kept coming after the Cardinals even when trailing by double digits at different points. Pitt was still within reach after Nwora's return before Au'diese Toney was called for a foul on the junior forward and the bench received a technical foul.