In his first career start, Louisville freshman Donovan Mitchell gave the Cardinals a spark as they scored a victory in the first Atlantic Coast Conference game of the season on Sunday night.
Mitchell led three players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds as the Cardinals dealt Wake Forest a 65-57 defeat.
Chinanu Onuaku added 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to go with four blocked shots, while Damion Lee chipped in 12 for the Cardinals, who are now 12-2 on the season.
It was the ACC opener for both teams.
Wake Forest has a road win over LSU and wins against Indiana and UCLA. The Demon Deacons trailed by eight at halftime, but tied it with 2:31 to play on a three-pointer by Bryant Crawford. U of L held Wake Forest to 1 of 6 from the field.
The Cardinals outscored the Demon Deacons 9-1 after the Crawford shot. Lee hit a runner in the lane that made it 60-56 with 1:01 left and the Cardinals sealed it from there at the free-throw line.
Trey Lewis, playing after a bad sprain of his ankle on Friday, had nine points in 22 minutes.
Up next for Louisville is a road game at North Carolina State on Thursday night.