Luke Hancock was 4 of 5 from beyond the 3-point line but none bigger with :51 left to give Louisville a 51-48 lead over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. The 10th ranked Cardinals would hold on 58-53 avenging a loss to #12 Syracuse earlier this season. It was the fifth straight win for Louisville while The ‘Cuse has now lost three in a row.
With a little over 5 minutes in the 2nd half Hancock hit a three from the top of the arc to give Louisville a 47-40 lead and seemed to take control of the game. But after a Jim Boeheim timeout the Orange scored the next 8 points to take a 48-47 lead with 2:50 left in the game. A Russ Smith free throw tied it at 48 before Hancock hit the go ahead three. Smith led Louisville in scoring with 18 points and 5 assists. C.J. Fair had 19 points and 6 rebounds to lead The Orange. Both teams shot the ball poorly, shooting right around 36% for the game. Louisville’s free throw woes continued as they hit just 14-24 from the line.
The loss drops Syracuse to 22-7, 10-6 on the season with remaining games next week at home against DePaul before closing out the regular season at Georgetown. Louisville improved to 24-5, 12-4 and is still in the hunt for The Big East regular season title. Louisville is currently ½ game behind Georgetown with 2 home games next week against Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Georgetown will need to lose 2 of their final 3 for Louisville to have a chance to catch the Hoyas.