Analysis: Siva sparks Cards past Pirates

Louisville held off Seton Hall 61-55 Wednesday night to advance to the Big East Championship quarterfinals against Marquette Thursday. Here's instant analysis of the game.

Louisville (23-9) extended a one-point halftime lead over Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament second round Wednesday night with a 20-6 run to start the second half, then held off the Pirates for a 61-55 win to advance to the quarterfinals Thursday to face Marquette. Peyton Siva led Louisville with 14 points and six steals, while Gorgui Dieng added 10 rebounds and six blocks. Here's instant analysis of the game:

IT WAS OVER WHEN: The final dagger was Kyle Kuric's free throw to give Louisville a six point lead with just 14 seconds remaining, but consecutive baskets from Russ Smith in the final two minutes to give Rick Pitino's team a 59-50 lead with 1:52 remaining put the game out of reach.

KEY STATS: 8 and 17
After committing a season-high 24 turnovers in the first meeting with Seton Hall, Louisville made only eight against the Pirates Wednesday night. Conversely, Louisville forced 17 turnovers, converting several Pirate miscues into easy baskets. The turnover differential allowed the Cards to overcome 38.8 percent shooting, 57 percent foul shooting and an 11 rebound deficit.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Louisville needed a big game from Peyton Siva and the junior guard delivered one of his best outings in recent weeks. After struggling down the stretch, Siva turned up his game against Seton Hall's Jordan Theodore, leading the Cardinals with 14 points, 6 steals and three assists. Siva, who was in control at both ends of the court, also added five rebounds and made both of his three-pointers while making 6 of 11 shots overall. His play in the opening minutes of the second half keyed Louisville's game seizing 20-6 run.

BIG PLAY: After Jordan Theodore's two free throws cut Louisville's lead to five with 4:22 left, Jared Swopshire quickly found Kyle Kuric in the middle of Seton Hall's zone. Kuric hit the short turnaround jumpshot to push the lead back to seven and the Pirates never seriously threatened again, though they did cut the margin to four in the final minute.

TURNING POINT: After an ugly first half, Louisville seized momentum in the first nine minutes of the second half. Leading by one at the break, the Cardinals stormed out of the locker room and opened the final frame with a 20-6 run to build a 43-28 lead midway through the second half. Six different UofL players scored during that stretch, but Siva led the spurt with seven points and three steals.

TOP RESERVE Russ Smith gets the award even though he missed 3 of 4 free throws late, made a couple of unnecessary fouls with the lead and committed an unnecessary turnover when the Cardinals wanted to run out the clock. Smith scored 11 points in 23 minutes, making 4 of 11 shots.


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