It took a little while for things to get going between the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals and No. 12 Syracuse Orange on Saturday at the Carrier Dome. But what was an ugly game in the first half turned into an exciting finish, with the Cardinals grabbing a huge 58-53 road win thanks to Luke Hancock's three-pointer with 53 seconds left.
Louisville (24-5, 12-4 Big East) took a 23-19 lead into the break, and the game went back and forth throughout much of the second half. The Cardinals appeared on the verge of breaking things open, taking a 47-40 lead with just over five minutes to play. The Orange (22-7, 10-6 Big East) responded with an 8-0 run to take a brief 48-47 lead, but went scoreless over the next two-plus minutes. Louisville knocked down 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the game.
Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 16 points and five assists. Hancock was huge off the bench, pouring in 12 points on 4-of-5 from three-point range. Gorgui Dieng notched a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
C.J. Fair scored 19 points in the loss for Syracuse. James Southerland had 13 points off the bench, with most of that damage coming in the second half. Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
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