Louisville upsets No. 5 UConn in double OT

No. 19 Louisville upset No. 5 UConn 79-78 in double-overtime Saturday at Gampel Pavilion. Peyton Siva led the Cardinals with 19 points and hit key shots down the stretch to force both extra periods.

Peyton Siva was the hero for Louisville again Saturday.

After hitting the game-winning shot in the final seconds against West Virginia earlier this week, Siva led No. 19 Louisville to an improbable 79-78 double-overtime upset win at fifth-ranked UConn Saturday afternoon.

"Proud is not the word," Pitino said on his post-game radio show. "It was a great, great team victory. On the road. Packed house. Double overtime. Players had to man up under the influence of fatigue. Not easy to do."

Siva, who scored 19 points, hit a layup with .30 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Trailing 69-67 in the final seconds of the first extra period, Siva slipped down the lane and slammed one home with eight seconds left to force a second OT. In the second overtime, Siva scored Louisville's final four points as the Cardinals held off Kemba Walker's Huskies.

"Everybody had a major hand in this but I thought Peyton Siva was brilliant," Pitino said.

BREAKDOWN: Louisville 79, UConn 78

Play of the Game: It's hard not to go with Peyton Siva's layups to force both overtimes. So we will. But Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric's three-pointers to start the second overtime and give the Cardinals a six-point advantage set the tone in the final five minutes of the contest.
Player of the Game: There's no doubt about this selection. For the second straight game, Peyton Siva was the man for Louisville. Not only did Siva hit the shots to extend the game. Not only did he score a team-high 19 points. But the sophomore also handed out seven assists, played a big role in slowing Kemba Walker, and led the Cardinals to their biggest victory this season.
Key Stat: Four. That's how many points Kemba Walker, the top scorer in the Big East, had in the first half. Though Walker finished with 20 points – four points below his season average, the National Player of the Year front-runner made only 7 of 23 shots, including only 2-10 three-pointers.
Jennings Steps Up: With Gorgui Dieng out, junior center Terrence Jennings came through with his best game. Jennings played well from start to finish against the Huskies, contributing 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Jennings, who hit several key free throws late in the game again, played all but 11 minutes and made 5 shots from the floor, and 6 out of 10 free throws.
Big East Watch: Louisville's win moved the Cardinals into second place in the league with a 6-2 record. The Cardinals, who trail only Pitt in the Big East standings, play No. 20 Georgetown Monday night on the road.

Louisville opened the second overtime with three-pointers from Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric to take a 75-69 lead with 3:52 remaining.

Jeremy Lamb, who scored 14 first half points, hit a three-pointer to cut Louisville's lead to 75-71 with 2:34 left.

Siva's layup at 2:11 extended the Cardinals lead to 77-71, but Lamb hit his second three of the overtime to narrow Louisville's lead 77-74 with 1:43 remaining.

Once again, Siva stepped up for Louisville, driving to the basket for another layup with .27 seconds left to give Louisville a 79-74 edge.

But UConn didn't fold. Shabazz Napier quickly took the ball downcourt and drove to the basket to cut the lead to 79-76 with .19 seconds to play.

After Siva missed the front end of a one and one with .18 seconds remaining, Kemba Walker made two free throws with .10 seconds to cut Louisville's lead to just one at 79-78.

UConn fouled Chris Smith with .8 seconds, and Louisville's junior guard missed both free throws, giving the Huskies one final chance to win the game.

But Walker's last second three-pointer missed the mark and the Cardinals escaped with a huge road win over the Huskies.

"The one message I gave them was I wanted them to be aggressive offensively in overtime," Pitino said. "Everybody milks the clock and is afraid to score, and I told them I didn't want them to play that way. I wanted them to push for layups, push for shots and I want them to play like it was the first five minutes. We were very aggressive coming out in overtime."

Besides his team-high 19 points, Siva, who made 7-12 shots from the field, finished with seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks while committing only three turnovers in 42 minutes of play.

Terrence Jennings stepped up big for Louisville, too. With Gorgui Dieng out of the lineup, the junior center added 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric both scored 15 points and combined for six of the Cardinals eight three-pointers.

Despite scoring only four points in the first half, Walker, the Big East's leading scorer, finished with 20 points, but only made 7 of 23 shots.

"We made up our minds to go after Kemba Walker," Pitino said. "The last play of the game he was not going to get an open shot. Our guys were aggressive with him and he was not going to beat us. We held him to four points in the first half."

Shabazz Napier, a freshman guard, led the Huskies with 23 points, making 8 of 16 shots from the floor. Another freshman guard, Jeremy Lamb, chipped in 21 points for UConn, though he scored only seven points after halftime.

The win improves Louisville's Big East record to 6-2, and 17-4 overall. The Cardinals now own second place in the league standings behind Pittsburgh as they head to No. 20 Georgetown Monday night.

"What we got to do tomorrow more than anything is rest," Pitino said. "We've got to walk through and play some man Monday because they're such a good shooting team. We've got to play more man defense against Georgetown because that Princeton backdoor is very difficult."


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