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Louisville survives Georgia Tech’s rally, stays perfect in ACC

Sportsnaut
Dec 29, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals head coach Chris Mack reacts during the first half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Chris Mack reacts during the first half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Williams scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Sunday night as Louisville survived a Georgia Tech rally down the stretch to post a 67-64 win in Atlanta.

Williams made a foul shot with seven seconds left to expand the lead to three points. Kyle Sturdivant dribbled his way into an open 3-pointer from the right wing just before time expired, but his shot banged off the rim.

Three other players landed in double figures for the Cardinals (9-4, 3-0 ACC). Matt Cross and Dre Davis each tallied 13 points, while Noah Locke added 10. Louisville shot 48 percent from the field and earned a 34-25 advantage on the boards.

Michael Devoe, the ACC’s leading scorer, pumped in a game-high 23 points for the Yellow Jackets (6-6, 0-2). But his stepback 3-pointer for the lead with less than 10 seconds remaining clanged off the iron.

Jordan Usher contributed 17 points, six rebounds and four assists for Georgia Tech, but committed a turnover with 19 seconds remaining and the Yellow Jackets trailing by one. Sturdivant added 14 points.

Louisville earned a 36-22 advantage on points in the paint, but Georgia Tech was 9 of 24 on 3-pointers to help it stay in contention.

Louisville landed the first punch, establishing a 13-6 lead at the 15:20 mark of the first half when Williams converted a Georgia Tech turnover into a bucket. Then the Cardinals experienced a scoring drought of nearly six minutes.

The Yellow Jackets took advantage, ripping off 11 straight points to take a 17-13 cushion when Devoe got fouled in transition and made a bucket and free throw with 9:44 remaining. They expanded the margin to 26-19 on Sturdivant’s turnaround jumper with 6:39 left.

But Louisville had the last word, closing the half with a 12-2 burst. Williams capped it by driving through the lane for a layup with six seconds on the clock, enabling the Cardinals to take a 31-28 edge to the break.

–Field Level Media