For the fourth time this season, Louisville loses by one single point as they fell to Syracuse 70-69. The Cardinals are now 2-13 on the season and 0-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here’s a look into how the game unfolded.
The first half can be summarized by saying it was a half of runs.. The Cardinals began the first three minutes of the game with three turnovers resulting in a 8-2 lead in favor of the Orange.
However, Louisville, a team that has been known to fold quickly this season, answered back with a 17-4 run resulting in score, sparked by a JJ Traynor dunk. Jae’Lyn Withers took advantage of the momentum by hitting a three and recording a steal.
The Orange then flipped the momentum back by going on a 17-5 run of their own due to the Cardinals five turnovers. A category nobody wants to lead, but Jae’Lyn Withers had two of them himself. Louisville finished the half on an 8-2 run of their own, initiated by running a full court press and speeding up the pace of the game.
At half, the Cardinals had a 35-34 lead over the Jim Boeheim-led Orange. Going into the second half, both teams combined for 24 turnovers with Louisville being responsible for 14 of them. However, on the bright side, the Cardinals were strong shooting the ball, hitting 50% from the field and going 6-for-11 from behind the arc. Mike James led the way for Louisville with three three-pointers.
The second half was neck-and-neck and was more of a defensive battle. Both teams cut the turnovers in half with a combined total of 12, and Louisville being responsible for seven of them. The largest lead in the half was Louisville by seven with a 41-34 deficit at the 18:02 mark. But, this would be the highest the lead would get on either side for the rest of the game.
Syracuse secured the win in the last minute of the game when Joseph Girard III hit a late three to put Syracuse up 66-64. The next possession Louisville’s Mike James matched it with a three in the corner to put Louisville back up by one point. Then, a bad foul by the Cardinals with less then a minute to go put Girard back on the free throw line. After his two made free throws, Louisville was not able to get the lead back and would end up falling to an in-conference rival by one point in a game they were up by seven.
However, the Cardinals fought through adversity at several points in the game, but could not pull off the win at the end. El Ellis led the team in scoring with 20 points and nine assists with Mike James coming in closely behind with 19 points.
Louisville improved on the glass, out-rebounding Syracuse 38-33 and shot well from the field at 42.9%. The biggest issue for the Cardinals still seems to be ball security as they recorded 21 total turnovers against the Orange.
Next up for Louisville is Wake Forest this Saturday as they continue in-conference play on their home court at the KFC Yum! Center.