CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WDRB) – In a game that featured more garbage time than a landfill, the University of Louisville used a rock-solid 15 minutes in the first half to throw a knockout punch against Miami, then coasted down the stretch – maybe a bit too much for coach Chris Mack’s liking – to win its season-opener 87-74.
It was the earliest season-opener in U of L history, which concerned Mack and his staff, as did it being an ACC contest – and on the road.
Mack might’ve been concerned, too, after his Cardinals got off to a shaky start, falling behind by seven points after eight minutes. From then on, however, it was all red, to the delight of a large Louisville contingent in the Watsco Center, including actor Bill Murray.
Three straight three-pointers by senior guard Ryan McMahon took Louisville from a 16-9 deficit to an 18-16 lead, and the Cards began to look like the team that garnered a No. 5 preseason ranking.
That was part of a 15-0 run that put U of L up by 10, and the Cards led by as many as 21 before taking a 19-point lead to the half.
The lead stretched to 32 in the second half, before Miami staged a late run to make it more respectable.
Louisville was led by preseason All-American Jordan Nwora, who led all scorers with 23 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. McMahon and Dwayne Sutton added 16 points each and Steven Enoch had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cards shot 54.8 percent from the field and made 9 of 19 three-pointers. They outrebounded Miami 40-35.
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