LOUISVILLE — Ray Spalding had 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds before leaving midway through the second half with an injury, Deng Adel and Jordan Nwora each made a key 3-pointer late and No. 19 Louisville held off Saint Francis 84-72 on Friday night.
Spalding's layup provided a 66-44 lead with 12:38 remaining, but the junior forward went to the locker room several minutes later with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Saint Francis took advantage of his absence with a 23-10 run over 8:09 to get within 74-66, but Nwora and Adel each answered with five points while Anas Mahmoud made consecutive blocks during one sequence to help the Cardinals pull away.
Spalding matched a career scoring high before leaving the game and achieved his second double-double in a week.
Adel added 13 points, Mahmoud had 12 with nine rebounds, Quentin Snider had 11 points and V.J. King 10 for Louisville (4-0).
Keith Braxton had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Red Flash (2-3), whose two-game winning streak was stopped.
Saint Francis: The Red Flash stayed close for much of the first half by matching Louisville 20-all on the glass and eventually winning that category 35-33. Ten 3-pointers also helped. But they were outscored 40-20 in the paint and committed 19 turnovers leading to 17 Louisville points.
Louisville: The Cardinals appeared headed to another easy win after their 42-point rout of Southern Illinois before Spalding's exit changed things. They went nearly 5 minutes before Adel and Nwora made consecutive 3s to seize control.
Saint Francis hosts American University on Wednesday in the first of two more tuneups before visiting top-ranked Duke on Dec. 5.
Louisville hits the road for the first time to visit No. 18 Purdue on Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Cardinals won last year's Challenge meeting 71-64 but is 6-11 lifetime against the Boilermakers.