After two losses and dropping out of the top ten, the #11 Louisville Cardinals are in free fall. They were looking to pull out of their death dive against Syracuse.
In a welcome change from recent contests, the Louisville blew out the Orange 90-66.
The Cards were so desperate to turn things around that they recently had a players’ only meeting, the classic sign of a team either focused or flagging, to try to figure things out. And Syracuse isn’t the best opponent to be trying to tweak things against. While the Orange have struggled this season, they have always proven tough opponents for Louisville, winning the last two matchups.
Chris Mack changed things up with the starting five for this game, including returning Jordan Nwora to the starting lineup after he came off the bench last game and starting David Johnson at point guard, something a lot of Louisville fans have clamored for a while.
The Cards started much hotter in this game. They got up to a 13-point lead with five minutes to go in the first half. Syracuse was able to battle back and only head into halftime down 41-34, however.
Ryan McMahon had 12 points in the first 20 minutes.
Louisville played even better in the second half, increasing their lead to 29-points with five minutes left to go in the game. The Orange really had no answer for the Cards, never getting within seven points as the game wound down.
The Cards dominated in almost every single category. They outshot Syracuse 47 percent to 38, outrebounded them 45-36 and outscored them in the paint 30-24.
In a most welcome return to form, Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 17 points on 5-18 shooting.
Malik Williams earned a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon and Steven Enoch also scored in double-figures.
The Cards move to 22-5 on the season (13-3 ACC). The Orange fall to 14-12 (7-8 ACC).
Finally, back to winning, Louisville stays at home to keep the streak going against North Carolina on February 22.<