Freshman guard Edgar Sosa scored a career-high 22, including 10 straight late in the second half, to lead Louisville to a 74-71 win over Ohio in the opening game of the NABC Classic on Friday.
Terrence Williams added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Cardinals (3-2) withstood a late push by the Bobcats (4-2) to remain undefeated at Freedom Hall this season.
Sonny Troutman led the Bobcats with 22 and Jerome Tillman had 18 points and 13 rebounds, but the Bobcats couldn't pull off the upset after erasing a 16-point deficit.
"Coach got on us at halftime and told us to take the open shot," Sosa said. "Coach told us at halftime it was going to be a tight game, going down to the wire. He called it. They wouldn't go away. Once we got it to 13, I thought we would take it to 20, maybe 30, but they're a tough team. They kept fighting."
Louisville appeared ready to pull away after it went on a 16-3 run early in the second half to put the Cardinals up 51-35. But the Bobcats rallied to get within 56-55 with 5:42 to play.
Sosa took over from there, hitting a pair of 3-pointers, a couple of free throws and a pretty runner in the lane.
WILLIAM & MARY 61, NORTH FLORIDA 44: Nathan Mann scored 13 - including six during a 23-5 run that broke open a close game in the second half - to lead the Tribe (4-4) over the visiting Ospreys (1-8). The game was tied at 34 with 11:43 to play before Kyle Carrabine hit a 3 to start the game-deciding scoring spree for the Tribe. Mann's two free throws capped the spurt, making it 57-39 with 1:52 left. Chris Timberlake scored 15 for the Ospreys.
Wooden won't travel
After a lot of travel recently, John Wooden plans to skip next week's doubleheader in his home state of Indiana. The 96-year-old former UCLA coach was in Anaheim, Calif., for festivities surrounding today's John R. Wooden Classic doubleheader, featuring No. 1 UCLA, Texas A&M, George Washington and Southern Cal.
"I don't get around very well and I probably should stay home more," he said.
On Dec. 16, the John R. Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis features No. 5 Ohio State, No. 15 Butler, Cincinnati and Purdue.