SYRACUSE, N.Y. – USA Today Coaches Poll No. 17 Louisville continued it’s winning streak to 12-0 against the No. 24 Syracuse Orange. Louisville was disciplined and capitalized off mental errors made by Syracuse. The Cardinals put on a clinic handily breaking the Syracuse press, making 47 percent of their shots and outrebounding the Orange for a 71-53 win. Cardinals sophomore forward Myisha Hines-Allen proved her prowess with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman takes responsibility for the loss.
“I’m not going to make myself a victim,” coach Hillsman said. “We’re going to get back in the gym, we’re going to get after it, we’re going to compete and put a better product on the floor. That falls on me, I have to get my team ready to compete.”
Louisville (15-5, 7-0 ACC) started the game with a 7-0 run. Syracuse senior guard Cornelia Fondren hit a jump shot to put the Orange on the scoreboard, Louisville led 7-2. The Cardinals would then go on a 12-0 run before Syracuse (14-6, 4-3 ACC) scored again. Hillsman was upset after an offensive foul call on Syracuse senior Briana Butler and he was handed a technical foul with one minute remaining in the first. Louisville capitalized on the technical as freshman Asia Durr went 2-for-2 from the line. The Cardinals held a commanding 22-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We didn’t make shots early,” senior guard Alexis Peterson said. “You can play as hard a defense as you want, but if a team is making shots and you’re not it is hard.”
Louisville started the second quarter with another 7-0 run before Hillsman took a time out. Syracuse went with a bigger line-up in the first half giving freshman swing Julia Chandler, senior forward Taylor Ford, and junior forward Isabella Slim more minutes than usual in attempt to compete with the Cardinal’s size and athleticism. Louisville still managed to outrebound the Orange as the guards failed to put a body on someone on the defensive end and box out. Louisville’s 5’6’’ red shirt junior guard Briahanna Jackson swooped in above post players and collected six rebounds in the first half.
The Orange weren’t prepared to give up as they made a push before half-time to get back in the game. Junior center Briana Day scored a much-needed basket, and red shirt junior guard Brittney Sykes took a charge that got the Syracuse bench on its feet. The Orange got the ball back, resulting in a three from Butler. Louisville held a 39-20 lead at the end of the first half.
At the beginning of the second half Syracuse looked like a different team. The Orange went on a 9-0 run before Louisville took a timeout. Peterson had seven of the nine points. Peterson got tangled up on the floor after driving to the hoop and would leave the game for a few minutes with a right hand injury. Louisville was in foul trouble at the end of the third quarter but the Orange only made 6-of-12 free throws.
The Orange climbed its way back within 11 points of the Cardinals, but that’s as close as Syracuse would get for the rest of the game. The Orange shot 25.8 percent from the field.
Hines-Allen led all scorers with 27 points and Durr had 16.
Peterson had 13 points and six assists.
Syracuse plays its second home game in a row against the Boston College Eagles Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.