Louisville received a double-double performance from Anas Mahmoud and three others scored in double figures to lead No. 14 Louisville to a 78-69 victory over No. 7 Duke on Saturday afternoon.
Mahmoud, a recent new addition to the Cardinals starting lineup who was averaging five points and three rebounds prior to today, erupted for career-bests with 17 points and 11 rebounds to pace Louisville. The 7-footer connected on 6 of 9 from the floor and 5 of 7 from the charity stripe, while also registering a pair of steals and a block.
"I thought he was very good," U of L head coach Rick Pitino said afterward. "He's still not grabbing the loose rebounds, but that's a strength issue. He's just going to get better and better."
Fueled by three second half three-pointers, Donovan Mitchell scored 15 points, while finishing second on the team with five rebounds. Quentin Snider also collected five boards to go with his 13 points and a game-high six assists and three steals. Despite being slowed by foul trouble, Ray Spalding finished with 11 points.
The Cardinals forced 18 turnovers, including six from All-American candidate Grayson Allen.
"I think we played intelligent defense the entire game, which we haven't done," Pitino said.
After a slow offensive start that saw U of L connecting on less than 30 percent of its shot attempts, the Cardinals connected on 58.6 from the field during the second half.
Louisville improves to 15-3 overall and is the third consecutive league win to improve to 3-2 in the ACC.
"I'm really, really excited about this victory because we both had the same record and we're striving to get into the top four in the league," Pitino said.
Donovan Mitchell and Quinten Snider both had strong outings against Duke, but recording career-high points (17) and rebounds (11) for his first career double-double gets Anas Mahmoud the nod at MVP.
Mahmoud registered one blocked shot on Saturday, marking his 19 straight game - dating back to last season - that the junior has recorded at least one shot rejection.
His performance on Saturday also marked the first time this season that Mahmoud has led the Cardinals in either scoring or rebounding.
He's now averaging 9.4 points per game over his last five outings.
Rick Pitino on his team's defense: "Well, I just think we played intelligent defense the entire game, which we haven't done. We didn't back up. We knew they were going to beat us off the bounce, and we wanted to switch, we took away the high post pass and they started running over and we fouled them too much, and then we changed that."
Duke coach Jeff Capel on Louisville: "They have a good team. They play hard, they play together. They have a veteran factor. I thought those guys are the difference, especially the second half. Their big kid (Anas) Mahmoud was terrific today, having a double-double, the plays he made, protecting their basket."
Up next is a home contest against Clemson on Thursday, Jan. 19.
The Tigers fell to 11-6 overall and 1-4 in ACC play following a 77-73 home loss to Virginia on Saturday.