• 63°

McMahon, No. 6 Cardinals beat Wolfpack, 77-57, for road win

By AARON BEARD AP Basketball Writer
RALEIGH (AP) — Sixth-ranked Louisville turned in a mistake-filled start to Saturday’s game at North Carolina State, then had trouble protecting a comfortable second-half lead.
And yet, the Cardinals responded each time with the veteran composure that has fueled their perfect Atlantic Coast Conference road record, not to mention their best start in any league in nearly three decades.
Ryan McMahon made seven 3-pointers — six in the first half — and scored a season-high 23 points, and Louisville dominated the final 11 minutes to beat the Wolfpack 77-57.
Jordan Nwora added 14 points for the league-leading Cardinals (19-3, 10-1), who won their eighth straight game.
“We know no matter where we play, the other team’s going to go on a run,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “We just don’t have the type of kids that are going to splinter and sort of pull apart from one another.”
The Cardinals showed it, too.
Louisville got off to a horrid start by racking up 10 fouls and 10 turnovers by the midway point of the first half. But McMahon got things going by hitting his first six shots — all 3s — with four coming in a six-possession burst that helped the Cardinals negate all those early mistakes. They led 31-21 on the way to a 41-26 halftime margin.
Then, after the Wolfpack cut a 17-point deficit to four midway through the second half, the Cardinals responded by scoring 21 of the game’s final 26 points and holding N.C. State without a basket for the final 5:46.
Now Louisville has its best start in any league since going 10-1 in the Metro Conference in the 1992-93 season. The Cardinals are also 6-0 in ACC road games.
“We look at each other as road warriors,” said Fresh Kimble, who had 10 points.
C.J. Bryce scored 15 points for the Wolfpack (14-8, 5-6), but N.C. State shot 33% and made 5 of 23 3-pointers to lose for the third straight game.
“I like our grit,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. “I like how we fought. I think there’s a lot of good things we can take away from this. Obviously, if we don’t score, it’s going to be tough on us.”
BIG PICTURE
Louisville: The Cardinals haven’t lost since falling at home to current No. 5 Florida State on Jan. 4. That run now includes five road wins, one at Duke’s famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium in the only regular-season meeting between two of the league’s top teams. And the Cardinals have had a different leading scorer for five straight games in a show of depth and balance.
N.C. State: It had been a frustrating week for the Wolfpack, who followed the program’s first win at Virginia since 2005 with a loss at Georgia Tech and Monday’s home loss to injury-depleted North Carolina. This loss cost the Wolfpack — ranked No. 57 in the NCAA’s NET rankings — a chance to earn a marquee win for the NCAA Tournament resume.
MCMAHON’S ROLL
McMahon, a 6-foot redshirt senior, had scored 21 points and hit five 3-pointers over the previous five games combined, which followed struggles in losses to rival Kentucky and FSU.
But he said he had a good feeling from the start by picking the ball that felt just right to be used in the game, a task which falls to the visiting team. McMahon didn’t miss until the final seconds of the first half and finished 8 for 12 from the field along with 7 for 10 from behind the arc.
“I went through and sifted through five or six balls and finally found one that was like really, really good,” McMahon said, adding: “Once I saw the first one drop, I was like, ‘All right, it’s time to go.'”
BRYCE’S PLAY
Bryce’s play was a welcome return to form after the Wolfpack’s one-time leading scorer had gone scoreless on 0-for-12 shooting during the previous two games.
“”I never lost any confidence in my game,” Bryce said. “Coming off of a slump, it was good for me to see the ball go in the hole.”
UP NEXT
Louisville hosts Wake Forest on Wednesday.
N.C. State visits Miami on Wednesday.
___
More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
___
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line