CRAWFORD | Louisville dies by the three, falls to Syracuse at ho - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Louisville dies by the three, falls to Syracuse at home, 78-73

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WDRB photo by Eric Crawford WDRB photo by Eric Crawford

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This was as ugly a game as the University of Louisville basketball team has played the entire conference season.

There's no way to sugar coat it, or really to excuse it. Syracuse had lost back-to-back games coming in. Jim Boeheim plays six players. You know you're going to get at 2-3 zone. Louisville, however, in the most crucial moments of the game, declined to attack it. The Cardinals threw up three-pointer after three-pointer. They finally made a couple late, but it was too late.

They chose to live by the three late, and wound up dying by it. Syracuse, which had lost two straight coming in, walked away with a 78-73 win. And Louisville walks away with its postseason future in the balance after a third straight loss, and second straight at home.

With 7:36 to play, the Cardinals trailed by 12. Against the Syracuse 2-3 zone, their ball movement was lackadaisical. Player movement was non-existent. And energy in the KFC Yum! Center was flagging.

Syracuse was getting into the lane at will on offense, whether the Cardinals played zone or man-to-man. It was at crisis point, but the Cardinals got a lift from substitutes Darius Perry, Jordan Nwora and Dwayne Sutton, then Ray Spalding gave them an offensive spark down low.

They cut their deficit to two with 4:05 left, then went more than three minutes without a field goal. They got back into the game by going inside, then didn't go inside again. Syracuse got a tip-in basket by Marek Dolezaj with 48 seconds left to go up four, and that was it.

Ray Spalding finished with 18 points, and Louisville was 19 of 31 from two-point range. But it just didn't get into the paint enough.

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