|Louisville's Reece Gaines tries to drive the ball through the defense of Houston's Marcus Oliver. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)|
Rashad Brooks added 15 points and Marques Maybin scored 13 for Louisville (6-11, 2-2 Conference USA), which snapped an unprecedented four-game losing streak at Freedom Hall.
Dominic Smith scored 22 points and George Williams added 15 points and nine rebounds for Houston (4-11, 1-2), which lost to Louisville for the sixth straight time.
Brooks, who scored a career-high 16 points against Cincinnati on Saturday, sank a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-0 run that gave the Cardinals a 27-16 lead midway through the first half.
Louisville sank 17 of 28 shots in the first half (61 percent), but settled for a five-point halftime lead.
The Cardinals missed 11 of their first 13 shots in the second half, enabling the Cougars to make a 10-2 run. Patrick Okafor's putback basket with 13:08 left in the game gave Houston a brief 49-48 lead.
Mac Wilkinson sank a 3-pointer 30 seconds later to restore Louisville's lead, and Gaines hit two jumpers to push the margin to seven.
Louisville maintained the seven-point lead into the final minutes and sank five of eight free throws in the final 90 seconds to seal the win.
Houston shot 35 percent (17-of-49) and outrebounded Louisville 35-29. The Cardinals shot 51 percent (28-of-55) and got outrebounded for the 12th time in 17 games.