No. 19 Louisville started slowly but used a 20-2 first-half run and a dominant second half to crush visiting Southern Illinois 84-42 Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
Louisville freshman wing Jordan Nwora led the Cardinals with 18 points. Junior wing Deng Adel finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Darius Perry had 10 points and seven assists. The Salukis (2-1) were led by Armon Fletcher’s 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Cardinals (3-0) struggled shooting to start the game, only scoring six points in the first nine minutes of the game. The Cardinals missed 11 of their first 13 shots.
Down 9-6, Louisville scored eight straight points and 18 of the next 20 points to take a 24-11 lead with just over four minutes left before halftime. The Cardinals entered halftime with a 29-18 lead thanks to 12 points from Adel and 10 from Nwora.
Neither team shot well in the first 25 minutes. At one point early in the second half, Louisville had hit just 1 of 15 three-point attempts while SIU was 1 of 14.
The Cardinals’ dominance continued in the second half as they pushed an 11-point halftime lead to a 20-point lead, 44-24, by the 13:23 minute mark. Louisville continued to push the lead until they led by 32, 60-28 at the 8:56 mark.
Louisville played all 11 available players and all 11 scored. The Cardinals’ bench outscored the Salukis’ bench 49-10. SIU shot just 26.6 percent for the game, including a paltry 3 of 21 from 3-point range.