Foul trouble, slow start to 2nd half doom Orange in loss to another ranked opponent in Louisville

first_imgAfter leading by one at halftime, Syracuse’s first seven possessions of the second half included three missed shots and three turnovers, and Louisville capitalized.The Cardinals took the lead and dashed out to a 13-2 run in the second half’s first three minutes to take a 10-point lead. The post-halftime lead change was the final one of the game, as Louisville cruised to victory.For the sixth time this season, the No. 23 Orange (15-6, 5-3 Atlantic Coast) fell to a Top 25 team, this time 78-58 to No. 8 Louisville (19-2, 7-1) at the KFC Yum! Center on Thursday night, ending SU’s five-game win streak.“They were really, really good in the second half at getting the ball moving and getting our zone moving around,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said, “and they just made shots.”Though the Orange occasionally chipped away, the Cardinals didn’t let up, eventually breaking open a 26-point lead on a 41-15 run. While SU entered with the ACC’s best turnover margin, Louisville was second and beat Syracuse at its own game — transition baskets, forced turnovers and points off of those turnovers. Louisville finished with 14 fast-break points compared to the Orange’s four.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We didn’t have a ton of turnovers, but the ones that we had led to layups,” Hillsman said.While the second half proved to be disastrous, Syracuse did build an eight-point lead 13 minutes into the game. The Cardinals came back though, and the lead changed four times in the last 2:30 of the half before SU went into halftime with a narrow 30-29 lead.It was the third time this season Syracuse led at the break against a Top 10 team. But for the third time, the Orange faded in the second half.Briana Day, SU’s starting center and most-reliable rebounder, headed to the bench after picking up her fourth foul with 12 minutes to play. When she subbed out, Louisville’s lead was only eight. When she subbed back in four minutes later, it was 18.Forward Taylor Ford committed three fouls within a three-minute span and fouled out with 8:28 left. Though Louisville’s lead was already at 18 by then, the chance of a comeback had dwindled.“When you can’t play two of our better players for big chunks of time, you have a problem,” Hillsman said.Syracuse’s next two games are against No. 9 Florida State and No. 16 North Carolina, and Hillsman said on Wednesday that this stretch of games could be the turning point of the season.But against Louisville, the trend against ranked teams continued and the Orange collapsed once again after halftime.“We just didn’t play a good second half,” Hillsman said. “And it bit us.” Comments Published on January 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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