Analysis: Miscues cost Louisville

No. 23 Louisville (20-6, 8-5) committed twice as many turnovers and made only 12-21 free throws in a narrow 52-51 loss to No. 2 Syracuse Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center. Despite holding the Orange to 34 percent shooting, including 1-15 three-pointers, UofL couldn't overcome their mistakes to extend their six game winning steak. Here's instant analysis of the game....

No. 23 Louisville (20-6, 8-5) committed twice as many turnovers and made only 12-21 free throws in a narrow 52-51 loss to No. 2 Syracuse Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center. Despite holding the Orange to 34 percent shooting, including 1-15 three-pointers, UofL couldn't overcome their mistakes to extend their six game winning steak. Here's instant analysis of the game:

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Syracuse guard Dion Waiters stole the ball from Peyton Siva in the final seconds with the Orange ahead 52-51. Trailing by one, Louisville had a chance to win the game on the final possession but couldn't get a shot at the basket as Siva turned it over for the fifth time against SU.

KEY STATS: 12-21; 16-8
Despite holding Syracuse to 34.4 percent shooting, including 6 percent shooting from three, Louisville couldn't upend the Orange because they made only 12 of 21 free throw attempts and committed twice as many turnovers as SU (16-8). Siva made only 1-4 free throws and committed five turnovers, while Chane Behanan missed 3 of 5 FT's. Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng combined for nine turnovers.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Behanan kept Louisville in the game with a game-high 16 points and 9 rebounds. The 6'7 freshman hurt the Orange with five offensive rebounds and while hitting 7 of 8 shots. Despite missing his free throws, Behanan's strong inside play gave the Cardinals a chance against the nation's second ranked Orange.

BIG PLAY: Despite the turnovers and missed free throws, Louisville still had the final possession to win the game trailing by just a point in the final half minute. That's why Waiters steal from Peyton Siva on the decisive possession was so critical, allowing the Orange to escape despite poor shooting while being out-rebounded by Louisville.

TURNING POINT: Louisville went ahead by five 51-46 on an offensive rebound putback by Chane Behanan with 3:40 remaining. However, the Cardinals wouldn't score again as the Orange scored the game's final six points, including C.J. Fair's basket game-winner with just over two minutes in the contest.

TOP RESERVE Louisville's bench played a key role in Saturday's win over West Virginia but the Orange out-scored the Cardinals reserves 26-5 as Fair and Waiters combined to score 20 points. Russ Smith, Louisville's top reserve, scored just three points while committing four turnovers. Wayne Blackshear failed to score in six minutes of action for the Cards.


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