November 25, 2019 / 1:41 AM / 21 days ago

No. 2 Louisville builds big lead, holds off Akron

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.

Nov 24, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Jordan Nwora (33) shoots against the Akron Zips during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

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

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