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Nwora scores 24, Louisville tops Notre Dame 75-53

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said even when it felt like his team got an open shot Wednesday night against Louisville, it really wasn't.

Louisville's length and athleticism was just too bothersome.

''You can talk about well, you didn't shoot well, you didn't make shots - but that's Louisville,'' Brey said. ''They really do guard you. The looks we got, there was somebody athletically closing out all of the time.''

Jordan Nwora had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Louisville held Notre to 27 percent - and a paltry 11 percent from 3-point range - as the Cardinals notched their 20th win of the season with a 75-53 win over the Irish in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Ryan McMahon added 12 points and Steven Enoch had 10 for the Cardinals (20-12). The Cardinals broke open a nine-point game at halftime with a 22-7 run early in the second half to build a 24-point lead.

Louisville also dominated on the glass, outrebounding Notre Dame 50-38.

T.J. Gibbs led the Irish (14-19) with 21 points. But the Cardinals doubled down on power forward John Mooney, Notre Dame's leading scorer, and held him to seven points on 3-of-18 shooting.

''Mooney obviously was one of our main focuses coming into the game,'' Nwora said. ''So we were just playing tough and not letting him back down. I don't think length played a big part. I think it was just us being tough in this game and keeping them from getting to the rim.''

The seventh-seeded Cardinals wasted no time jumping on the 15th-seeded Irish, bolting to a 28-12 lead behind 12 points from Nwora and a rim-rattling put-back dunk from Enoch - one of many dunks from the high-flying Cardinals. Still, Notre Dame cut the lead to nine at halftime despite missing its final 12 3-point shots of the first half.

NORTH CAROLINA NEXT

The Cardinals almost immediately were forced to turn their attention to Thursday night's game against North Carolina, as coach Chris Mack was peppered with questions about the Tar Heels after the game.

Louisville beat North Carolina by 19 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in January, although the Tar Heels avenged that loss with a 79-69 win at Louisville on Feb. 2.

''When you play a team for a third time, both teams are going to have great familiarity with one another,'' Mack said. ''Coach (Roy) Williams doesn't try to trick you. They're going to try to race the ball up the floor, they're going to pound it inside and they're going to try to decimate you on the glass. They did that in Game 2 and they didn't do it as well in Game 1.''

LASZEWSKI RETURNS

Nate Laszewski returned to the Notre Dame starting lineup after injuring his back and missing the second half of the Irish's first round win over Georgia Tech, but was held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting from the field. It was pretty clear he wasn't moving as fluidly as he had in the previous game.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: Brey knows this is a rebuilding year for his young team, so he has to be pleased his team won its first round game against Georgia Tech to snap a seven-game skid. But he said strength training will be an important part of the team's offseason program knowing they need to get stronger and more athletic to compete at a high level in the ACC.

Louisville: The Cardinals are looking like a solid lock for the NCAA Tournament. Their length and athleticism will give a lot of teams problems in the postseason.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Season over.

Louisville: Faces No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday night.

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Key Players
T. Gibbs
10 G
C. Cunningham
1 G
31.5 Min. Per Game 31.5
10.1 Pts. Per Game 10.1
4.9 Ast. Per Game 4.9
2.3 Reb. Per Game 2.3
34.7 Field Goal % 47.5
31.8 Three Point % 35.0
75.7 Free Throw % 76.0
  Defensive rebound by Chris Doherty 13.0
  Jacob Redding missed 3-pt. jump shot 15.0
  Offensive rebound by Jacob Redding 22.0
  Akoy Agau missed layup, blocked by Juwan Durham 24.0
  Defensive rebound by Darius Perry 47.0
  Liam Nelligan missed 3-pt. jump shot 49.0
  Defensive rebound by Juwan Durham 54.0
  Khwan Fore missed layup 56.0
+ 2 Dane Goodwin made jump shot 1:14
+ 2 Darius Perry made jump shot 1:33
  Defensive rebound by Steven Enoch 1:57
Team Stats
Points 53 75
Field Goals 18-67 (26.9%) 26-66 (39.4%)
3-Pointers 3-27 (11.1%) 9-29 (31.0%)
Free Throws 14-18 (77.8%) 14-15 (93.3%)
Total Rebounds 38 50
Offensive 13 15
Defensive 23 34
Team 2 1
Assists 6 14
Steals 3 2
Blocks 1 6
Turnovers 3 5
Fouls 13 16
Technicals 0 0
21 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST
24 PTS, 9 REB
12T
away team logo Notre Dame 14-19 252853
home team logo Louisville 20-12 344175
Team Stats
away team logo Notre Dame 14-19 68.7 PPG 39 RPG 12.8 APG
home team logo Louisville 20-12 74.6 PPG 40.5 RPG 13.5 APG
Key Players
10
T. Gibbs G 13.4 PPG 1.9 RPG 3.4 APG 34.7 FG%
33
J. Nwora F 17.0 PPG 7.6 RPG 1.3 APG 44.6 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Gibbs G 21 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
J. Nwora F 24 PTS 9 REB 0 AST
26.9 FG% 39.4
11.1 3PT FG% 31.0
77.8 FT% 93.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Gibbs 21 1 2 6/15 2/8 7/9 2 35 0 0 0 1 0
J. Mooney 7 12 0 3/18 1/5 0/0 0 33 0 0 1 3 9
P. Hubb 6 3 1 2/9 0/5 2/2 2 38 2 0 1 0 3
D. Goodwin 4 6 1 1/7 0/3 2/2 4 36 1 0 1 2 4
N. Laszewski 0 4 1 0/6 0/5 0/0 3 23 0 0 0 2 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Gibbs 21 1 2 6/15 2/8 7/9 2 35 0 0 0 1 0
J. Mooney 7 12 0 3/18 1/5 0/0 0 33 0 0 1 3 9
P. Hubb 6 3 1 2/9 0/5 2/2 2 38 2 0 1 0 3
D. Goodwin 4 6 1 1/7 0/3 2/2 4 36 1 0 1 2 4
N. Laszewski 0 4 1 0/6 0/5 0/0 3 23 0 0 0 2 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Durham 12 9 1 5/9 0/0 2/3 0 25 0 1 0 5 4
C. Doherty 3 1 0 1/2 0/0 1/2 2 8 0 0 0 0 1
L. Nelligan 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
R. Pflueger - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Djogo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Harvey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Carmody - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 53 36 6 18/67 3/27 14/18 13 200 3 1 3 13 23
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Nwora 24 9 0 8/15 3/7 5/6 3 29 1 0 0 0 9
M. Williams 6 7 0 1/4 0/2 4/4 2 20 0 2 1 1 6
D. Sutton 5 10 4 2/9 1/5 0/0 2 29 0 0 0 7 3
C. Cunningham 3 0 3 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 22 0 0 1 0 0
K. Fore 2 0 0 1/6 0/1 0/0 1 20 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Nwora 24 9 0 8/15 3/7 5/6 3 29 1 0 0 0 9
M. Williams 6 7 0 1/4 0/2 4/4 2 20 0 2 1 1 6
D. Sutton 5 10 4 2/9 1/5 0/0 2 29 0 0 0 7 3
C. Cunningham 3 0 3 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 22 0 0 1 0 0
K. Fore 2 0 0 1/6 0/1 0/0 1 20 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. McMahon 12 2 5 3/4 3/4 3/3 0 17 1 0 1 0 2
S. Enoch 10 7 0 5/9 0/1 0/0 2 17 0 2 0 4 3
D. Perry 7 5 2 3/7 1/3 0/0 2 20 0 0 1 0 5
V. King 6 8 0 2/8 0/3 2/2 2 20 0 2 1 2 6
A. Agau 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
J. Griffin 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
J. Redding 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
W. Battaile 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
W. Rainey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 75 49 14 26/66 9/29 14/15 16 200 2 6 5 15 34