LOUISVILLE — Jordan Nwora came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points, Deng Adel had 16 points and No. 19 Louisville coasted past Southern Illinois 84-42 on Tuesday night.
After scraping past George Mason and Nebraska-Omaha, the Cardinals (3-0) had a surprisingly easy time against the Salukis (2-1) after the early moments. They turned a 9-6 deficit into a 29-18 halftime lead before putting put it out of reach, leading 65-30 with 6:47 remaining.
Though the teams combined to shoot just 11 of 47 from behind the arc, Louisville's freshmen found their mark late to finish 8 of 26. Nwora had 12 points combined coming in but made 7 of 10 shots and had eight rebounds.
Louisville held SIU to 27 percent shooting, including just 3 of 21 from long range.
Dwayne Sutton had eight points with two 3s, guard Darius Perry had 10 points and forward Lance Thomas added one from deep.
Armon Fletcher had 14 points and seven rebounds for SIU while Kavion Pippen, nephew of NBA great Scottie Pippen, had 10 points.
Southern Illinois: Despite missing their first 11 shots, the Salukis regrouped to grab a 9-6 lead. That didn't last long as Louisville outscored them 16-2 over 5:17 and 23-9 the rest of the first half. Inside scoring was tough against the taller Cardinals, who won that category 40-24. SIU managed to stay close on the glass but was beaten there 49-40. Sixteen turnovers leading to 19 Louisville points also hurt.
Louisville: The Cardinals still have a lot of rough edges, but showed much more intensity from the first two games. They dominated bench scoring 49-10, which they have needed in hopes of finding depth. Adel had another good game against SIU, scoring in double digits with seven rebounds after registering 12 points and 12 rebounds last December for his first career double-double.
Southern Illinois faces another Kentucky school on Saturday when it visits Murray State.
Louisville hosts Saint Francis on Friday night to conclude its season-opening, four-game home stand.