Louisville completed a regular season sweep of Duke with a thrilling 80-73 overtime victory over the Blue Devils Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Cards found a way to win despite losing Malik Williams early in the second half after the big man re-injured his right foot, despite losing David Johnson to fouls near the end of the second fouls, and despite losing Jae’Lyn Withers to fouls in the middle of the overtime period.
How were they able to overcome those obstacles while also dealing with an unconscious Matthew Hurt? The answer begins and ends with Carlik Jones.
Yet again, the graduate transfer from Radford was tremendous for U of L. Playing all but 30 seconds of the 45-minute contest, Jones scored a team-high 26 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out four assists, and perhaps most remarkably of all, did not have a single turnover. He scored seven of Louisville’s 15 points in overtime, including an ice-cold pull-up jumper to put the Cardinals ahead by five with 37 seconds to play.
Jones’ heroics couldn’t completely overshadow the effort of Hurt, who once again torched U of L, this time to the tune of a career-high 37 points. He was less effective down the stretch, however, thanks in large part to a terrific defensive effort from Samuell Williamson, who took over Hurt duties late from the foul prone Johnson and Withers.
As good as Jones was, Williamson wasn’t far behind him in the hero department. The sophomore forward continued his run of stellar play, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
With the win, Louisville has now won three straight over Duke and two straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium. U of L also remains the only program in the country to have faced Mike Krzyzewski at least 10 times and own a winning record against Coach K.
There’s plenty more to be said about this one — the Quinn three and clutch free-throws, the random brilliant moments from Jae’Lyn, CARLIK DUNKING — but my goodness, what a win. That’s as gritty a performance in a big spot as we’ve seen from a Cardinal team in a long while.
Big time Saturday night wins this late in the season are just the best. Everyone should enjoy this tonight.