LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Jordan Nwora had 21 points and scored the go-ahead basket during an 18-5 second-half run that rallied No. 5 Louisville past Wake Forest 86-76 Wednesday night for its ninth consecutive victory.
Wake Forest led 46-34 at the break behind 60% shooting before the Cardinals (20-3, 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) picked things up and mounted the pivotal run over the first five minutes of the half. Nwora followed Ryan McMahon’s four-point play with a breakaway dunk for Louisville’s first lead at 52-51, and the Cardinals stretched it to 67-60.
Louisville made a season-high 14 of 28 3-pointers, including 6 of 12 in the second half, to finish 48% from the field after shooting 41% in the first half. The Cardinals also held the Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-9) to 9 of 30 from the field in the final 20 minutes and extend their longest winning streak in ACC play.
Nwora made 5 of 8 from deep and 6 of 12 overall. Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Lamarr Kimble 14 points, McMahon 12 points and Steven Enoch and Malik Williams 11 points each.
Andrien White scored 17 points and Olivier Sarr had 16 points and six rebounds for the Demon Deacons before fouling out. They had sought consecutive wins for the first time since winning three in a row from Dec. 14-Jan. 4.
Wake Forest: Unfazed by Louisville at the start, the Demon Deacons pushed their tempo and made clutch shots that forced the Cardinals to try and make up the deficit from outside. The second half was the complete opposite as they were overwhelmed on both ends and couldn’t stop Louisville on the perimeter. Wake Forest is 1-4 against ranked schools this season.
Louisville: The Cardinals shot better from deep than inside the arc in the first half and that proved to be their saving grace as shots continued to fall. Most importantly, they contested Wake’s attempts more aggressively after halftime, especially in those early moments that seized momentum and the lead.
Wake Forest concludes its two-game road swing at Syracuse on Saturday.
Louisville hosts defending national champion Virginia on Saturday, looking to end a nine-game losing streak against the Cavaliers. The Cardinals close the regular season in Charlottesville on March 7.