LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kyle Kuric had 17 points and eight rebounds and No. 4 Louisville escaped an upset on its home court to remain unbeaten with a 69-62 victory over the College of Charleston on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (11-0) trailed 57-55 with 5:06 to play but went on a 9-2 run over the next 3 minutes, capped by a 3-pointer by Chris Smith that put them ahead 66-59 with 2:06 left.
Gorgui Dieng had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Chance Behanan added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals, one of six undefeated teams in Division I.
Antwaine Wiggins had 23 points and seven rebounds for Charleston (9-2), which tied a season-high with 12 3-pointers.
A layup by Trent Wiedeman rolled out after breaking Louisville's full-court press with 2:54 left that would have given the Cougars a one-point lead. Louisville pushed the ball up the court and Russ Smith hit a transition 3-pointer 6 seconds later to make it 64-60.
Louisville trailed for just the second time at the half this season as Charleston looked primed to be the second Southern Conference team in as many days to pull off a road upset, leading 37-33 at the break.
Andrew Lawrence nailed a 24-footer to give the Cougars a 31-30 lead with 2:51 remaining and later hit Wiggins with a no-look wraparound for the assist on the half's final basket.
Davidson beat No. 12 Kansas 80-74 on Monday.
Louisville faced an eight-point deficit with 15:06 remaining but cut the lead to 49-47 on 3 by Russ Smith less than 2 minutes later. Charleston's Matt Sundberg answered at 12:58 to stretch the lead to five but Louisville's pressure defense held the Cougars in check for the next 5 minutes.
That sparked a 6-0 Louisville run, punctuated by consecutive dunks from Dieng and Behanan to give Louisville a 53-52 lead with 8:25 to play.
Charleston ended its scoring drought and retook the lead on Anthony Stitt's 3-pointer at 7:52 before Kuric made a 13-footer in the lane to tie the game at 55-55 with 5:30 to play. Charleston led 59-58 after Wiggins' two free throws with 4:03 left but Louisville scored eight consecutive points, starting with a jumper by Kuric at the 3:12 mark.
Down 66-62, Wiedeman missed a layup with 36 seconds remaining and Louisville hit three of its final four free throws to close out the game.