Game: 20 Louisville (14-5, 6-0 ACC) vs. Syracuse (14-5, 4-2 ACC)
Date: Monday January 25, 2016
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Location: Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
Syracuse lost it’s last game to No. 3 Notre Dame 90-62. The Orange let the Fighting Irish get up 28 points in the first half and weren’t able to recover from the deficit. Syracuse was 6-for-26 shooting beyond the arc, just 26 percent, compared to it’s season average of 9 threes made per contest and 29 percent shooting. The Orange converted a total of 23-of-82 shot attempts and the Fighting Irish converted 33-of-60 shot attempts.
The Orange will need to shoot well against No. 17 Louisville. The Cardinals haven’t lost an ACC contest this season and are second in ACC standings behind Notre Dame. Louisville continues it’s winning streak with 11 games, narrowly escaping North Carolina State 92-90 in it’s last game. Syracuse’s patented furious full-court pressure defense will wake the Cardinals up as Louisville hasn’t played a game in over a week. Rest can be good with roughly a month left in regular season play, but it can also take a team out of it’s rhythm.
Louisville freshman guard Asia Durr was No. 2 in the class of 2015 espnW and is averaging 10.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Myisha Hines-Allen is the leading scorer for the Cardinals and averages 15.1 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. Hines-Allen is going to be hard to contain, but Syracuse will need to keep her off the boards to make it a game.
The outcome of the game will be dependent upon how the Orange start the game. Syracuse is an extremely athletic and disciplined team. When they lose focus they can fall back on their athleticism, which has pulled them through games this season to get the win. Sometimes they start a game a little slow and are able to blow it open in the second half as seen in their wins against Morgan State, Coppin State and Drexel this season. However, making mental errors against a top 25 team has cost them. The Orange lost to Arizona State 61-54 in large part due to being out-rebounded 44-23 because of positioning. Syracuse will need to operate like a well-oiled machine from beginning to end against Louisville to win tomorrow night.
Red shirt senior guard Brittney Sykes is seven points shy of reaching 1,000 total points in her collegiate career. If she reaches this mark she will be the 25th player in Syracuse program history to do so.