Jordan Nwora had 25 points and five rebounds and Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 2 Louisville past instate rival Western Kentucky 71-54 on Friday in a neutral-court game played at Nashville, Tenn.
Louisville (7-0) is in position to be the top-ranked team in the nation for the first time under second-year head coach Chris Mack. No. 1 Duke was upset earlier in the week at home against Stephen F. Austin.
Nwora and Sutton shot a combined 14 of 25 from the field while their teammates were 9 of 27.
Western Kentucky (6-2) was led by 16 points from Taveion Hollingsworth and 14 points and nine rebounds from Charles Bassey.
The Cardinals extended their winning streak over the Hilltoppers to eight games.
Louisville dominated in rebounds with a 39-25 advantage that translated to a 16-6 margin in second-chance points. Malik Williams led the Cardinals with nine rebounds.
The Cardinals never trailed and led by as many as 19 points in the first half before going into halftime with a 37-23 lead.
Western Kentucky shot only 37.9 percent in the first half, including a 1-for-10 performance from 3-point range. The Hilltoppers shot 37 percent from the field. They missed all seven of their 3-point tries in the second half to finish 1 of 17.
The Cardinals led 9-0 to start the game and pushed the lead to 28-9 with 8:41 left in the first half. At that time, Sutton had 12 points and Nwora eight.
Western Kentucky cut the lead to 47-37 with 14:03 left in the game on a Josh Anderson dunk. The Hilltoppers could not get the Louisville lead under double digits until Bassey made two free throws to cut the lead to 51-42 with 9:35 remaining.
A 13-2 run by the Cardinals extended their lead to 64-44 with 5:36 left. Nwora had a 3-pointer and five points overall in that game-clinching run.
—Field Level Media