LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jordan Nwora scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as #1 UofL beat #4 Michigan 58-43 on Tuesday in the KFC Yum! Center in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Wolverines (7-1) entered the game second in the nation, shooting 52.9% from the field. They missed 16 of their first 18 shots as the stifling Cards defense was the difference. Michigan finished up 15-58 from the field, a paltry 25.9%.
“I think the story of the game was just our defensive effort from the beginning of the game all the way through,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said. “We probably played 38 1/2 minutes of as good a defense as we can play, outside of maybe the first minute to start the second half. We beat a really good team, I’m sure they’re a little bit tired. We can’t feel like we’ve been crowned at all, it’s a long season, we’ve got to grow from this.”
UofL (8-0) also struggled from the field early, hitting just three of their first 13 shots, but they eventually got it going, and used an 11-1 run to take an 18-5 lead on a Ryan McMahon three-pointer.
The Cards led it 28-18 at the half.
Michigan closed within four at 30-26, but UofL answered again, this time with a 10-0 run.
Nwora scored six of those 10 points. Steven Enoch finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
It was a “White Out” in the KFC Yum! Center.
“It was crazy seeing all those people out there cheering us on,” Nwora said. “It really helped us out. Having crowds like that really helps us get wins, so if we could have that all the time it would be great.”
“Our season is not over yet, #1 is just a number,” senior guard Fresh Kimble said. "We got a bigger goal than that. We got the ACC, and we got the National Championship. We’re going to continue to get better and we’re going to get ready for Pittsburgh Friday.
The Cards are already 1-0 in the ACC after a season opening win at Miami, and they host Pitt (7-2) in their league home opener on Friday night at 9 p.m.