The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals pulled out a win Thursday night over Northern Iowa 51-46 in a low-scoring, poor shooting affair at the Battle for Atlantis, in Nassau, Iowa. The Cardinals led 26-20 at the half and by 18 with under 10 minutes to go, but the Missouri Valley's Panthers mounted a comeback predicated on defensive stops that put them in a position to win in the closing seconds.
Louisville's Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. He was the only Louisville player to score in double figures. Peyton Siva scored seven. The Cardinals shot 30 percent from the floor, 22 percent from three-point range, and turned the ball over 20 times. Louisville had 40 points with 12 minutes to play - with under two to play, they had 44 on the scoreboard.
Northern Iowa shot 34 percent and went 6-19 from three. Guard Marc Sonnen scored 11 and forward Jake Koch had 10 for the Panthers, who trailed 48-46 with eight seconds left. NIU turned the ball over 21 times and were outrebounded 40-26 by Louisville.