Trailing by one point with 1:37 to play, Indiana reeled off eight points in a row and held on for a 68-67 victory over Louisville in a rivalry clash on Saturday afternoon at Bloomington, Ind.
Freshman guard Rob Phinisee’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:25 left gave Indiana (8-2) the lead for good in its first win over Louisville (6-3) since 2002.
Freshman guard Romeo Langford led the Hoosiers with 21 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left that clinched matters. Senior forward Juwan Morgan notched 15 points, and Phinisee added 10 with six rebounds.
Sophomore forward Jordan Nwora paced Louisville with a career-high 24 points and 14 rebounds, but the Cardinals missed five shots in a row and committed one turnover during a dry spell that began with four minutes left. Graduate transfer guard Christen Cunningham (16 points) canned a pair of 3-pointers in the final 11 seconds, including a hanging 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Louisville carried a 33-28 lead into halftime as both teams struggled to make shots. Nwora and Langford led their respective teams with 11 points apiece, but they split their free throws and combined to hit 1 of 5 from 3-point range.
Nwora provided the highlight-reel moment of the first half when he grabbed a deflected pass at Indiana’s free-throw line, dribbled behind the back at midcourt to avoid a defender and then threaded his way between two more Hoosiers to throw down an aggressive slam.
Indiana didn’t take its first lead until 8:34 remained in the game when Phinisee drilled a 3-pointer for a 49-47 edge.
That triggered a scintillating stretch run as Louisville answered with Nwora’s 25-footer that rattled home, and Indiana followed with a 3-point play by Morgan set up by Langford’s drive and dish.
The teams kept trading leads as Langford’s steal and finger roll in traffic gave Indiana a 57-56 edge with 2:00 to play.
Cunningham sank two free throws to regain the edge, so Phinisee replied with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Morgan rolled to the basket for a layup. The Cardinals never had the ball again with a chance to tie or take the lead.
—Field Level Media