Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals appeared to have plenty of chances to leave Syracuse with a rather comfortable win, but they decided to make things interesting.
With 2:05 left in the game the Cards had a 55-48 lead. Syracuse outscored Louisville 10-2 in the final two minutes forcing overtime. Louisville’s missed free throws, turnovers and Donovan Mitchell fouling out led to what could’ve been a very memorable collapse.
Syracuse got off to a three-point lead in overtime, but that’s as big as their lead got. Following an and-one from Syracuse guard Andrew White, Louisville reserve Ryan McMahon knocked down a big three. The redshirt freshman scored Louisville’s first five points if overtime and made two free throws with 0.9 seconds left to give the Cards a 76-72 win.
With the win, Louisville improves to 21-5 on the season and 9-4 in ACC play. They’re now tied with Florida State for second place. Syracuse falls to 16-11, which means they’ve got a lot of work to do if they want to make the NCAA tournament. This win for Louisville won’t be looked at as a resume booster, but for the second consecutive game the Cards were able to fight through some adversity and find a way to pull it out.
Louisville had a very balanced attack with five players in double figures. Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half and made some big plays down the stretch before picking up his fifth foul. It was Quentin Snider had a hot start scoring 11 of his 14 points in the first half. He also dished out a game high six assists in his second game back from injury.
For the first time in a weeks Anas Mahmoud gave the Cards a big boost. He finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench. Mahmoud knocked down some big free throws down the stretch. Jaylen Johnson also played well when it mattered the most. He finished with ten points and seven rebounds. Deng Adel chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.