Analysis: All Shook Up

No. 19 Louisville's (22-9, 10-8) offense has been in a funk recently and their scoring woes continued Saturday in a 58-49 loss to No. 2 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Rick Pitino benched forwards Kyle Kuric and Chane Behanan, and despite a good start, couldn't slow down the Orange in the regular season finale. Here's instant analysis of the game.

No. 19 Louisville's (22-9, 10-8) offense has been in a funk recently and their scoring woes continued Saturday in a 58-49 loss to No. 2 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Rick Pitino benched forwards Kyle Kuric and Chane Behanan, and despite a good start, couldn't slow down the Orange in the regular season finale. Here's instant analysis of the game:

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Syracuse turned a seven point halftime lead into a 45-27 advantage in the opening minutes of the second half. Louisville used a 9-0 to cut the margin to 10 in the final five minutes, but never threatened the Orange after halftime.

KEY STATS: 2 of 23
Louisville simply couldn't hit outside shots against Syracuse's zone. The Cardinals made only 2 of 23 three-point attempts against the Orange, a pathetic 8.7 percent. Chris Smith and Russ Smith were a combined 0-12, while Kyle Kuric, benched in favor of Wayne Blackshear, made just 1 of 6 shots from three. Blackshear was 1 for 3 in his first career start.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: It's hard to single anybody out for this award because nobody really stepped forward and shined against the Cuse. Chane Behanan gave Louisville energy off the bench and Russ Smith provided a brief offensive spark in the second half. We'll go with Behanan, who led the team in scoring, made 5 of 7 field goals, and grabbed seven rebounds.

BIG PLAY: There were a lot of big plays by the Orange, including 8 threes and 9 layups or dunks.

TURNING POINT: Midway through the first half, Louisville led Syracuse 15-9. Then, the Orange awoke, closing out the first half with a 17-4 run to seize control of the game. In the final 10 minutes of the opening half, the Cardinals made just one field goal while committing five turnovers.

TOP RESERVE Chane Behanan, benched in favor of Jared Swopshire, responded with a strong performance off the bench. Behanan attacked the offensive glass for five offensive boards and led the Cardinals in scoring with 10 points.


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