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No. 23 Louisville, behind Jordan Nwora, defeats Pitt 66-51

Pittsburgh Louisville Basketball

Louisville forward Jordan Nwora (33) motions to the crowd following a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Louisville won 66-51. AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Jordan Nwora scored 17 points to help No. 23 Louisville rally past Pittsburgh 66-51 on Saturday and avenge its only conference loss this season.

The Cardinals (15-5, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot just 39 percent, but their strong defense shut down the Panthers (12-8, 2-5) for 6:04 of the second half. Pittsburgh led 41-40 after a Trey McGowens three-point play with 15:37 remaining in the game. Louisville scored just eight points during the Panthers’ drought, but it was enough to take the lead for good.

After being held to three points and playing only 11 minutes after getting two fouls in the first half, Nwora took off in the second. The forward’s 3-pointer from the left corner as the shot clock expired gave the Cardinals a 65-47 lead, Louisville’s largest, with 3:21 left.

Steven Enoch came off the bench to add 12 points and tied a season high with 11 rebounds.

Despite being held scoreless for a nearly six-minute stretch in the first half as well, the Panthers sled 33-29 at halftime because of tough defense. They held the Cardinals to 37 percent shooting over the first 20 minutes and forced 11 turnovers in the half.

Jared Wilson-Frame led Pittsburgh with 14 points.


Pittsburgh: Once again, the Panthers’ bigger guards caused problems for the Cardinals. While Pittsburgh withstood a second-half comeback at the Petersen Events Center, it could not do the same on Louisville’s home court.

Louisville: Since falling to the Panthers on Jan. 9, the Cardinals have won five straight. Saturday’s point total marked its lowest output since a loss to Kentucky nearly a month ago. Grinding out a victory despite weak shooting could give the Cardinals more confidence for the upcoming grueling schedule.