Jordan Nwora recorded 18 points and eight rebounds and No. 2 Louisville opened up a 22-point lead before holding on for an 82-76 triumph over visiting Akron on Sunday night.
Steven Enoch added 17 points for the Cardinals (6-0). Dwayne Sutton contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds and Ryan McMahon also scored 10 points.
Loren Cristian Jackson had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists for Akron (4-2). Tyler Cheese also scored 20 points and had three steals while Channel Banks added 18 points.
Jackson and Cheese each scored 14 second-half points as the Zips put a scare into the Cardinals before falling short.
Louisville didn’t make a field goal over the final 4:02 and missed seven of its last eight field-goal attempts. The Cardinals shot 41.9 percent from the field, including 9 of 25 from 3-point range.
Louisville had a 48-36 rebounding edge.
Akron shot 40.3 percent from the field and was 9-of-30 from 3-point range.
The Cardinals opened the second half with an 8-2 push to take a 55-33 lead with 18:21 remaining.
But instead of an easy blowout win or Louisville, the Zips started whittling away their deficit and crept within 76-67 on Jackson’s basket with 3:15 left.
Another basket by Jackson pulled Akron within 78-74 with 24.4 seconds remaining before the Cardinals held off the challenge.
Nwora scored 15 first-half points as Louisville raced to a 47-31 halftime advantage.
The Zips led 12-8 after Cheese’s hoop less than four minutes into the contest before the Cardinals used a 9-2 run to take a three-point lead.
Louisville opened up an nine-point edge with 7:29 to play before Akron cut its deficit to 36-29 on Cheese’s two free throws with 5:08 remaining.
The Cardinals answered with 11 straight points to lead by 18 before settling for the 16-point margin at the break.
—Field Level Media