So, so close! Cards fall at UConn 84-80

Sophomore forward Juan Palacios scored a career-high 29 points and Taquan Dean added 17 in Louisville's 84-80 loss at Connecticut on Saturday afternoon

After securing a spot in the upcoming Big East Conference tournament earlier in the week, Louisville (18-11, 6-10) came up just shy of claiming a regular season ending win at 2nd-ranked Connecticut (27-2, 14-2) on Saturday afternoon.

An improving Juan Palacios scored a career-high 29 points by shooting 50% from the field and connecting on all ten of his free throw attempts. Senior Taquan Dean added 17 points in the loss, while Brandon Jenkins and Terrence Williams also registered double figures with 12 and 10 respectively.

The Cardinals, which climbed back from a six point deficit late in the first half to pull even with the host Huskies, tied the game for the tenth time with less than a minute to go.

"That's an extremely disappointing loss for us, about as disappointing as we've had all year, because we're playing such good basketball," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino following the loss. "And to come away empty handed like this is a very empty feeling, to say the least. I'm really disappointed in the loss, but really happy with the way the guys played today. We played well enough to get a W and we didn't, and it's very disappointing."

Connecticut's Marcus Williams drained six free throws in the the 48 seconds of the game to secure the Huskie's at least a share of the Big East Conference regular season crown.

The Cardinals shot 34.3% from the field, while Connecticut connected on half of it's field goal attempts. Louisville remained close throughout with it's strong defensive efforts and a strong effort on the boards.

"Our pressure can be really good at times," said Pitino. "The problem we have is that we shoot such a low percentage all the time that we don't "get it on" enough to fatigue people. The guys did a really good job of that. We wanted to just try and get on the offensive rebounds as hard as we could. We have definitely improved our rebounding in the last two weeks."

Louisville will travel to New York City tomorrow to begin preparations for it's Big East Conference Tournament opener on Thursday.

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