Carlik Jones scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 16 Louisville continued its recent strong play by defeating host Wake Forest 77-65 on Wednesday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Louisville (9-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), playing its first game as a ranked team after a three-week absence from the Top 25, has won five consecutive games. The Cardinals continued their best-ever start in ACC play, moving to 4-0 in league competition for the first time since the 2008-09 season as a member of the Big East Conference.
Samuell Williamson added 15 points, including three 3-point connections, and 11 rebounds while Dre Davis provided 15 points as the Cardinals shot 50.9 percent from the field.
Louisville led by as many as 16 points early in the second half, but the Cardinals had their margin cut to 64-57 with more than five minutes to play. Louisville posted the next six points, with two baskets in the lane from Jones during that stretch.
Jones ended up with six of Louisville’s final 13 points.
Daivien Williamson pumped in 19 points, while Jonah Antonio, Jalen Johnson and Ody Oguama all notched 11 points for Wake Forest (3-4, 0-4) which has lost four games in a row — including three straight against nationally ranked opponents. This was the team’s first ACC home game.
The Demon Deacons did most of their shooting from outside the 3-point arc, hitting 7 of 29 of those attempts. They were 21-for-57 overall from the field.
Louisville used an 11-4 run to end the first half on the way to a 46-34 lead at the break. The points were tougher to come by in the second half for the Cardinals, who had only 18 points in the first 14 1/2 minutes after halftime.
Louisville went on a 24-7 stretch after a bumpy opening few minutes, holding a 24-12 lead courtesy of a pair of Williamson’s 3-point baskets.
Wake Forest freshman guard Carter Whitt was out after suffering an ankle injury during an on-court practice session earlier in the day.
Louisville has topped Wake Forest in four straight meetings.