LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - #5 UofL fell behind Wake Forest by twelve at the half, but turned up the defense in the second half for an 86-76 win on Wednesday night in the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cards outscored Wake 52-30 in the final 20 minutes.
“I thought our energy level was much greater in the second half,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said. “I think that was obvious, but I also thought Danny’s (Manning) kids came out and played their tails off. I thought they played with a ton of confidence. He had those guys ready to play.”
The Demon Deacons shot 60% from the field in the first half, and hit 6-14 three’s. UofL held them to 30% shooting in the second.
“We certainly responded after halftime. I thought the first seven, eight minutes of the second half we were a completely different team,” Mack added. “Frustrating, but we got to figure that out.”
The Cards went on a 20-2 run to take the lead. Steven Enoch scored in the paint and drew a foul. The free throw got them within 51-46.
Then Ryan McMahon drained a three while getting fouled. His free throw cut the deficit to one.
After another defensive stop, Fresh Kimble fired a long outlet to a streaking Jordan Nwora for a slam to give UofL a 52-51 lead. Nwora followed it up with an off balance three to make it 55-51.
Dwayne Sutton provided the energy to get the Cards off the mat. His steal and slam made it 58-53.
Sutton finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Nwora led all scorers with 21. He was 5-8 from three.
Kimble hit a couple big three’s late to close the door. He finished with 14 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. McMahon added 12 and Malik Williams had 11.
The Cards are 20-3, 11-1 in the ACC. Wake Forest falls to 10-12, 3-9.
UofL hosts Virginia (15-6, 7-4) on Saturday at 4 p.m.