Louisville rips Heels

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 24, 1999

The Associated Press

Louisville, Ky.

Friday, December 24, 1999

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Louisville, Ky. – Nate Johnson scored a career-high 31 points and Louisville forced No. 6 North Carolina into 21 turnovers in the Cardinals’ 97-80 victory Thursday night.

Louisville (7-3), who fell to unranked Kentucky by 30 points on Saturday, harassed the larger, slower Tar Heels (8-4) and refused to be intimidated in the paint.

Nate Johnson was 13-of-19, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. Marques Maybin added 20 points, Reece Gaines had 12 and Quintin Bailey 10. The Cardinals committed only six turnovers and collected 13 steals to the Tar Heels’ two.

Led by Bailey’s 10 points, Louisville’s unheralded bench outscored UNC’s reserves 25-13.

Max Owens led North Carolina with 22 points. Joseph Forte added 16 and Jason Capel 13, and Brendan Haywood had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

North Carolina, still smarting following Tuesday’s 82-73 loss to No. 20 Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic, fell victim to the Cardinals’ quickness and athleticism from the game’s opening moments.

A 7-2 run put Louisville up 29-22 with 8:45 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals then blitzed North Carolina with a 10-0 run over the final 2:30.