In a game both teams desperately needed to win, Louisville made just enough plays down the stretch to topple Duke, 70-65, Saturday evening inside the KFC Yum Center.
Once again, the major story for the Cardinals was Carlik Jones. The grad transfer from Radford scored U of L’s final nine points and finished with a game-high 24 to go along with five assists. Jones was 11-for-12 at the free-throw line, where he salted the game away for the home team in the final minute.
Jae’Lyn Withers (13), David Johnson (12) and Dre Davis (11) also scored in double figures for Louisville, which snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-2 in ACC play. Samuell Williamson also came off the bench for the first time this season to score six points and grab seven big rebounds.
Louisville survived a monster effort from Duke’s Matthew Hurt, who scored 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three. He fouled out in the game’s final minute thanks to a hard drive to the bucket by Jones, which may have ended up being his most important offensive play of the game.
It was far from the prettiest thing in the world, but Louisville found a way to win a game it absolutely had to have, and it came against a talented opponent that was equally desperate.
Having a week between games is going to be much, much easier to stomach now.