LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Christen Cunningham lead four UofL players in double figures with 17 as the #23 Cards beat #21 NC State 84-77 on Thursday night in the KFC Yum! Center.
The Wolfpack hit 12-27 three-pointers and erased all of a 10 point deficit in the second half.
Up one with just under six minutes to play, Cunningham got a steal and found Dwayne Sutton for an open three. Sutton had 10 points. The triple put the Cards up 70-66.
A CJ Bryce three got the Pack back within one, but the Cards had an answer. Working a high pick and roll with Cunningham, Steven Enoch popped out and drained the three. Enoch had 10 points and four rebounds off the UofL bench.
Still just a one point game with less than a minute to play, when Ryan McMahon stepped in front of a driving Braxton Beverly to draw a charge. McMahon was then fouled by Beverly on the inbounds play and hit both free throws.
UofL was 24-29 from the line.
“I think we beat a really, really good team. I told Kevin after the game. he’s got some dogs,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said. “He’s got some guys, some junk yard dogs that play hard from the very beginning of the game to the end. When you can beat a team like that, you know you stepped up to the challenge.”
NC State head coach Kevin Keatts, a former UofL assistant, said the crowd of 16,322 was a factor.
“You know this is a special place to play,” Keatts said. “When they made the run I thought they got loud, I thought their guys fed off of it. We turned the ball over a couple times and the crowd got involved in it and certainly we wanted to try to keep the crowd out, but it’s a great arena with a great fan base.”
NC State finished the game with 23 turnovers.
They fall to 15-4, 3-3 in the ACC. UofL improves to 14-5, 5-1 in the league. That one loss came in overtime at Pittsburgh. The Panthers (12-7, 2-4) visit the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday at 2 p.m.