The Irish were led by John Mooney and Prentiss Hubb in this one, as Mooney nearly had a double-double at halftime en route to finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Hubb continued to be the Irish’s best playmaker, scoring 16 points and dishing out 6 assists as well. T.J. Gibbs chipped in 11 points. The Irish shot 35% from long range and 38% overall, but made a putrid 4 out of 14 shots from the free throw line.
Louisville, meanwhile, was led by star sophomore Jordan Nwora, who finished with 20 points and 11 boards. Throw in strong games from Malik Williams (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Christen Cunningham (14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and the Cardinals put together a solid performance, despite shooting just 9.5% from deep. Louisville shot 48% overall, though, and out-rebounded the Irish 49 to 30 (including 12 offensive rebounds), leading to a huge advantage in points in the paint that gave them the win.
The first half was a pretty even affair, as both teams struggled to knock down three pointers or get to the free throw line, but managed to see some success in the paint. The Cardinals led by 5 heading into the break and at that point already had an 8-rebound lead in the rebounding column.
In the second half, the Cardinals jumped out to a hot start, pushing their lead to 10 before a couple T.J. Gibbs threes helped stop the Irish bleeding. However, the Cardinals kept the Irish at arms-length from then on, with their lead hovering between 7 and 10 for a good chunk of the second half as John Mooney did his very best to keep the Irish in it.
After a 12-4 run by Louisville, though, the Cardinals led by 14 and gained complete control of the game. They rode that momentum through to the end of the game, going on another run (this one was 9-0) to extend their lead, and ultimately won by 14 points.
The Irish fall to 13-16 overall on the year (3-13 ACC), and will play again Wednesday evening in this season’s home finale against the Clemson Tigers.