Jordan Nwora

Jordan Nwora has earned the No. 4 spot in Ken Pomeroy's early national player of the year rankings. WDRB Photo/Eric Crawford

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bellmarine University got its last crack at the University of Louisville basketball team as an exhibition opponent on Tuesday night and came dangerously close to making it a night to remember.

Yes, the No. 5-ranked Cardinals were playing without big men Steven Enoch and Malik Williams, and without heralded freshman David Johnson. Bellarmine was without one of its top defenders in Parker Chitty.

But all other things being equal, they were just a bit too equal for the Cardinals, until they put together a 9-0 run late to pull away for a 75-65 victory.

Louisville struggled at times to contain Bellarmine off the dribble and couldn't establish a lead of more than six points until the final three minutes. Still, the Cardinals had the best player in the building – first-team preseason All-American Jordan Nwora, and his 28 points were the difference.

Louisville got some good play down the stretch from freshman Samuell Williamson and strong play throughout from senior Dwayne Sutton, who was recruited by Bellarmine coach Scotty Davenport out of high school, but not by Louisville.

Sutton finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals, who got all they wanted from the test and should benefit from it with an ACC game at Miami kicking off its regular season schedule on Nov. 5.

Bellarmine, ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division II, was led by Alex Cook with 20 points, Ben Weyer with 15 and Dylan Penn with 11. The Knights travel to Notre Dame for another exhibition Friday night.

The Knights shot 45 percent from the field (21-47) to 42 percent for Louisville (27-64), but were just 5-17 from three-point range (29 percent) while Louisville was 8 of 28.

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