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Wake Forest starts fast, wins for first time at Louisville

Jan 7, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Damari Monsanto (30) dribbles against Louisville Cardinals forward Jae'Lyn Withers (24) during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Damari Monsanto drained five 3-pointers to highlight his 21-point performance to fuel visiting Wake Forest to an 80-72 victory over Louisville on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest.

Cameron Hildreth made 8 of 10 shots from the floor to finish with 19 points for the Demon Deacons (11-5, 3-2 ACC), who secured their third win in four games overall and first at Louisville all-time.

Wake Forest’s Tyree Appleby collected 13 points and eight assists before fouling out. Daivien Williamson also had 13 points as the Demon Deacons shot 52.7 percent from the floor (29 of 55) and 40.6 percent from 3-point range (40.6).

Louisville’s Mike James recorded a season-high 24 points and eight rebounds. He made 9 of 16 shots from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

El Ellis recorded 20 points and eight assists for the Cardinals (2-14, 0-5), who have lost five in a row despite holding a 36-31 edge in rebounds — including 15-8 on the offensive glass.

Louisville whittled a 22-point deficit down to three after James drained a 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining in the second half. Monsanto answered with a pair of 3-pointers during his team’s 8-2 run to give Wake Forest a 78-69 lead with 1:26 to play.

Ellis converted a three-point play to bring the Cardinals within six with 41 seconds to play. However, Williamson converted at the free-throw line to seal the win.

Wake Forest bolted out of the blocks by scoring the game’s first eight points before amassing a run of 14 consecutive points to push its lead to 27-7.

Louisville trimmed the deficit to 13 points with 2:24 left in the first half. But the Demon Deacons drained their ninth 3-pointer to push the advantage to 20 just before intermission.

The Cardinals cut their deficit to 15 points before Monsanto made a contested 3-pointer with 12:22 remaining in the second half.

–Field Level Media