The University of Louisville basketball team lost in its league opener on the road for the first time in 10 years on Wednesday night, dropping a 77-70 decision to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
The Cardinals never led by more than two points, hit just 25 of 64 from the field and saw the Fighting Irish hit 22 of 25 free throws to seal it.
U of L tied the game at 68 but didn't score a field goal in the final 2:38 and Notre Dame broke the tie with three straight free throws. Steve Vasturia then hit a runner in the late for a five-point lead for the Irish.
The Cardinals are now 12-3 on the season but 0-2 and the only winless team in ACC play.
MVP of the game
Donovan Mitchell did a lot for the Cardinals in the loss.
Mitchell only hit 7 of 20 from the field, including 2 of 10 three-pointers, but he got things going for the Cardinals. He finished with 20 points, five steals, five assists and four rebounds in the loss.
It was the second straight 20-point game for Mitchell, who played 39 minutes in the contest. He had 16 in the first half.
A few leftovers
***Ryan McMahon gave the Cardinals some big minutes. He played five minutes and had five points, including a three-pointer. He was fouled on another and hit two of the free throws, while not doing a bad job on defense.
***Anas Mahmoud had a career-high six blocked shots. He was 2 of 4 from the field for six points and four rebounds.
***U of L is 0-2 to start conference play for the first time during the Pitino-era.
***Ray Spalding had six points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes but did have four turnovers.
***Louisville was called for four charging fouls; finishing the game with 11 turnovers. The Cardinals forced 12 turnovers.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino on the loss:
"Two turnovers down the stretch killed us," Pitino said. "If it becomes a free-throw battle in the end, they're going to win the battle. But the two turnovers in the end killed us. We're just not doing little things that come up with victories to win games."
Up next . . .
The Cardinals have what Pitino called a "must win" on Saturday when they play Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. in Atlanta.
The Yellowjackets lost 110-55 to Duke on Wednesday night after knocking off North Carolina last weekend. Georgia Tech is 9-5 overall.