SOUTH BEND, IN – Louisville’s Dwayne Sutton came up big when the No. 13 Cardinals needed him the most on the road against Notre Dame.
“My teammates did a nice job finding me. It wasn’t my night offensively,” said the 6-foot-5 Sutton, who hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 4:05 to finish with 10 points and 14 rebounds as the Cardinals closed with a 10-5 run to hold off an Irish upset bid in a 67-64 Atlantic Coast Conference victory on Saturday.
ACC leading scorer Jordan Nwora had a game-high 20 points and reserve guard Ryan McMahon added 17 for the Cardinals (13-3, 4-1 ACC) to begin a three-game road trip.
“This team needed to figure a way to cut through some adversity,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said after the Cardinals won their second straight game after losing two straight to ranked teams, 78-70 to in-state rival Kentucky in overtime on Dec. 28 and 78-65 against Florida State a week ago. “I loved the way we finished the game. A couple of our guys played like experienced players in a tough moment, Dwayne Sutton in particular.”
John Mooney, who notched his 10th straight double-double and 13th of the season with 15 points and 19 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (10-6, 1-4), credited Sutton after Notre Dame stumbled at the end for its second straight loss.
“When Sutton hits two bombs at the end, it’s tough — you tip your hat,” Mooney said. “They just made more plays down the stretch.”
T.J. Gibbs matched Mooney’s 15 points, scoring 13 after intermission, and reserve Dane Goodwin had 14, 11 in the second half, as the Irish managed to erase a 36-24 deficit but failed to finish again.
“I feel for us the way we battled back,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “Give them credit – they’re really good and Sutton drilled two really big ones.”