Louisville hangs on against Villanova

No. 23 Louisville (11-3, 2-0) hung on for a 61-60 victory over No. 18 Villanova Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia as Terrence Williams hit the game-winning shot in the final seconds.

For the second time this week, Louisville used some late-game heroics to pull out a hard fought victory.

Last Sunday, Edgar Sosa drained a 30-foot three-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining to give Louisville a dramatic 74-71 win over Kentucky at Freedom Hall. Saturday afternoon, Terrence Williams dropped a running layup in the lane to give the Cardinals a 61-60 victory over No. 18 Villanova in Philadelphia.

The Cardinals improved to 2-0 in the Big East – the first time they've started 2-0 since joining the Big East in 2006 – with the win.

The Cards must turn around
quickly for a Big Monday contest against
No. 13 Notre Dame.

Earl Clark finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals. Williams, who hit the game-winning shot for the Cardinals with 7.4 seconds left, chipped in 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Louisville also got 15 points and five boards from Samardo Samuels before fouling out.

Though Louisville built 11-point leads in both the first and second halves and led the Wildcats for most of the game, Villanova took a 60-59 lead on a free throw by Dante Cunningham with 27 seconds left in the contest.

That set up Williams' big basket.

With the clock running down and time running out on his team, Williams penetrated into the lane, hoisting up a leaning shot against three Nova defenders that bounced around on the rim before falling through the net.

After a Villanova timeout, Antonio Pena missed two free throws with 4.9 seconds left after the Wildcats got a run-out against Louisville's full-court pressure. Louisville freshman Jared Swopshire fouled Pena to prevent a layup.

Pena's second miss was rebounded by Earl Clark, but the UofL forward fell out of bounds, giving Villanova one more chance. Reggie Redding found the 6'9 Cunningham on a lob near the basket but he missed the chip shot and the Wildcats couldn't convert on the offensive boards as time ran out.

Though Villanova led the Big East in free throw shooting coming into Saturday's contest, the Wildcats made only 6 of 14 free throws in the final eight minutes of the game. Pena, who averages nearly 70 percent from the foul line, missed 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch, including the two in the final five seconds.

Dante Cunningham led Villanova with 21 points, connecting on 9 of 20 shots and 3 of 4 free throws. Pena added 14 points and a team-high eight boards. Louisville held Scotty Reynolds to just 11 points.

Neither team shot well from the field. The Cardinals made just 38.7 percent of their shots while the Wildcats hit just 37 percent. Louisville struggled from the three-point line, making just 3 of 25 three-pointers. Villanova made only 2 of 8 3's.

Louisville will return to action Monday night against No. 13 Notre Dame at Freedom Hall. The Cardinals will then host No. 1 ranked Pittsburgh next weekend.

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