Siva's reaping rewards of hard work

Peyton Siva found his midrange jumper in Louisville's 84-74 win over Villanova - and his mojo. Siva's improved play is a big reason why the Cardinals head to Seton Hall riding a two-game winning steak.

Peyton Siva found his midrange jumper in Louisville's 84-74 win over Villanova - and his mojo.

The Cardinals talented junior point guard has struggled at times the season, particularly with his outside shooting, but played one of his best games of the season Wednesday night against the Wildcats. Siva, who is making only 17 percent of his three-point attempts this season, moved inside the three-point line to hit four midrange jump shots on his way to 16 points against the Wildcats, his first game in double figures since a loss to Georgetown on Dec. 28.

"He's been working two extra hours on his shot," Rick Pitino said. "He was trying to throw the ball really high up in the air and I said just shoot the ball normal. But I was really happy with the fact that he is trying to get his mid-range shot up. He's been shooting the ball great in practice, really working on his mid-range game and he got the fruits of the labor today."

Siva's rough patch coincided with the Cardinals January slump. Before his outstanding performance against Villanova, the 5'11 junior point guard failed to score in double-figures in seven straight games, fouled out twice during that span and committed five or more turnovers twice. Besides matching his season-high with 16 points, Siva also had five assists and only one turnover in 38 minutes against Villanova.

"I don't think it (shooting) helps the offense, I think it helps him," Pitino said. "One of the difficulties in the Providence game was Peyton in foul trouble….and it affected our game and mushroomed into something much worse than it should have been. So when guys hit shots they feel better about themselves….they play better defense, rebound better."

Siva, who played well in the second half last Saturday at Pittsburgh before his great outing against Villanova, will face another difficult challenge Saturday night against Seton Hall's Jordan Theodore, one of the point guards in the league. Theodore, who averages 16 points, leads the Big East with 7.2 assists per game.

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