The #12 Syracuse men's basketball team dropped at 58-53 decision to #10/9 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.
SYRACUSE, NY – The #12 Syracuse men's basketball team (22-7, 10-6 BIG EAST) dropped at 58-53 decision to #10/9 Louisville at the Carrier Dome. The loss is the third-straight for the Orange in BIG EAST play. Junior guard C.J. Fair led the Orange with 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Both Michael Carter-Williams and James Southerland grabbed a team-high seven rebounds each.
Southerland notched 13 points off the bench, which included three three-pointers. Carter-Williams added 11 points and seven assists. Senior Brandon Triche scored eight points and recorded five assists.After shooting 27.3 percent in the first half, the Orange had a 47.8 shooting percentage in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Louisville was led by Russ Smith who scored 18 points.Gorgui Dieng recorded the only double-double in the game, scoring 11 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
After the two teams battled back and forth the entire game, the contest was tied at 48-48 with just one minute remaining. The Cardinals had possession coming out of a Louisville timeout. Luke Hancock hit a three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining putting Louisville in the lead for good.
In the remaining 34 seconds, Louisville hit seven of their eight free throws, while Triche added two for the Orange. A clutch three-pointer by Fair with 4.6 seconds left had the Orange only down by three points, 56-53. SU couldn't compile a last-second comeback after two free throws by Russ Smith. After a game that featured 14 lead changes and four ties, the Orange ultimately fell to Louisville, 58-53.
After trailing 23-19 at halftime, Triche scored four-straight points out of intermission, putting SU within two points of the Cardinals, 25-23. The Orange would gain momentum after an impressive dunk by Rakeem Christmas. Christmas' slam started a 7-0 run that lasted 1:53. Southerland added a dunk of his own and a three point shot to put the Orange in a 30-28 lead at 15:29.
It was the first time the Orange led since the 15:10 mark in the first half.
Kevin Ware's three-point shot at 15:06 put the Cardinals ahead, but not for long. Southerland drained his second shot from behind the arc and the Orange held a 35-33 advantage with 12:23 remaining.
The two teams traded leads throughout most of the second half until the Cardinal's 6-0 run at 5:35 gave them its largest lead of the game, 47-40.
The Orange would erase Louisville's seven-point lead with an 8-0 run that lasted 2:39. Carter-Williams scored six-straight points to pull SU within one point, during the run. Fair's jump shot at 2:52 had the Orange in a one-point lead, 48-47.
Louisville's Russ Smith scored the first points for the Cardinals, hitting a three-point shot in the opening thirty seconds. Carter-Williams answered back with a three of his own and the game was tied, 3-3, in the opening minute. Carter-William's shot kicked off a 7-0 run for the Orange that lasted 3:49 and included five points from the sophomore guard. The Orange led, 7-3, at 15:27.
Louisville would regain the lead, 12-7, at 11:37, following two consecutive buckets by Dieng. The Orange would tie up the game at 13-13, thanks to a jump shot by Fair. The Cardinals took back the lead, until a layup by Southerland at 4:33 cut SU's disadvantage to one point, 18-17.
Following Southerland's basket, the Cardinals put together a 5-0 run and had them at a 23-17 lead. Fair would score a jump shot before the end of the half, and SU went into the locker room at halftime trailing Louisville, 23-19.
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