LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Jordan Nwora scored seven of his 19 points during a decisive 20-2 spurt to lead Louisville to a 73-59 victory over Robert Morris on Friday night.
Nwora was 7-of-12 shooting and added 13 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games for the Cardinals (9-3). Steven Enoch added 16 points and Dwayne Sutton had 14.
Early on, the Colonials (4-8) seemed prime to mount a big upset over their Atlantic Coast Conference hosts. At one point, they made 9 of 10 shots and used a 13-2 run to build a 28-17 lead with 6:02 left in the first half. Louisville rallied and even took a brief lead late in the half, but Robert Morris weathered the first run and took a 32-29 lead into halftime.
Charles Bain hit a 3-pointer with 17:53 left that extended the Colonials’ lead to 39-31, but it was all Cardinals from there as they shot 54.2 percent in the second half. Darius Perry’s 3-pointer gave the Cardinals the lead for good at 43-41 with 14:05 remaining.
The run put Louisville up 51-41 with 10:04 left. The lead would grow to as much as 17 points, and the Colonials never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Bain’s 18 points led the Colonials, who shot just 37.7 percent.
Louisville played without Christen Cunningham, who was a late scratch from the starting lineup. The graduate transfer hit his head in practice earlier this week and remained in the concussion protocol.
Robert Morris: Despite entering Friday on a four-game losing streak, the Colonials led the Northeast Conference in scoring defense, allowing just 70.7 points a game. They used that defense to deny Louisville opportunities to attack the rim in the first half. While they played well for most of the contest, they simply could not last against a Power 5 team for a full 40 minutes.
Louisville: Despite having a size advantage, the Cardinals struggled to get good looks inside for the first 25 minutes of the game. Without Cunningham at the point, Louisville looked lost on both ends of the court against a significantly weaker opponent. The Cardinals’ woes could worsen if the graduate transfer misses any extended period as the schedule only gets tougher from here.
Robert Morris: The Colonials end the nonconference portion of their schedule on Dec. 29, when they host Hood College, an NCAA Division III school from Frederick, Maryland.
Louisville: The Cardinals are also off until Dec. 29 when they host No. 19 Kentucky. Louisville has lost five of the last six games against its archrival.
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