LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jordan Nwora scored the first 11 UofL points of the game. Malik Williams had a dunk, a defensive rebound, a three-pointer, and a block, all in one key stretch, and Dwayne Sutton was his usual consistent self as UofL held off a pesky Lipscomb (7-3) team 72-68 on Wednesday night in the KFC Yum! Center.
Nwora lead all scorers with 22 points and added 9 rebounds.
UofL lead 34-25 late in the first half after Williams drained a triple. The Bisons closed the half on a 9-0 run. Lexington native Matt Rose hit a three to get them within 34-33 at the break.
The Cards put together an 11-0 run early in the second half. Leading 39-38, Sutton powered his way for a basket and a foul. His free throw put UofL up 42-38. Nwora then scored six of the next eight Cards points, putting UofL up 50-38.
The Bisons answered with a 14-2 spurt. Garrison Matthews, who was born in Louisville, hit two triples during the run. He led Lipscomb with 20 points. When Kenny Cooper swiped the ball from Nwora and converted a driving left-handed layup, the game was tied at 52.
A Sutton drive put the Cards back in front. Leading 56-52, Williams went on his run. He took a feed from Ryan McMahon and slammed it home, then battled for a defensive rebound. He pulled down a career-high 13 boards. Darius Perry found him for a three and then at the other end he swatted a Cooper shot in the stands. Willilams finished with 10 points and those 13 boards, his first career double-double.
“Malik was a difference maker for us,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said. “His ability to rebound, block shots and he hit a couple of big threes.”
A Matthews three got Lipscomb back within 63-59, but Sutton answered with a triple. The Manual High grad finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
“I thought Dwayne Sutton’s energy, I mean I sound like a broken record, because it happens every game,” Mack said.
A Cooper drive and four free throws from Matthews got Lipscomb within one at 66-65. Williams hit one of two free throws for a 67-65 Cards lead, and then, after a timeout, Christen Cunningham drove in the lane and banked in a jumper with 20.5 seconds left to make it 69-65.
McMahon hit two free throws and Williams added one to offset another Rose three with 4.3 seconds left and provide the final 72-68 margin.
“It was going through my mind at halftime, just knowing that we needed this win,” Williams said. “Couldn’t get back-to-back losses coming off the one at I.U, and wanted to go out and play with my all and the game just came to me.”
“We beat a really, really, really good team tonight, and our team knew that coming in,” Mack said.
The Cards improve to 7-3 and will be back home on Saturday at 4 p.m. hosting Kent State (8-1).