for this game

Louisville's early three-point barrage too much for Syracuse

Feb 12, 2011 - 11:23 PM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Kyle Kuric scored 23 points and Preston Knowles added 22, as 16th-ranked Louisville opened a huge lead and held on late to pull out a 73-69 victory over No. 12 Syracuse at the KFC Yum! Center.

Terrence Jennings chipped in 13 points for Louisville (19-6, 8-4 Big East), which bounced back from Wednesday's overtime loss at Notre Dame to win for the fourth time in its last six games. The Cardinals have also won seven straight against Syracuse.

Louisville leads the Big East with an average of nine three-point field goals made per game. The Cardinals hit that number by halftime and finished the contest 13-of-27 from beyond the arc. Kuric made 5-of-7 long distance tries and Knowles connected on 7-of-12.

Brandon Triche scored 21 and Scoop Jardine added 20 for the Orange (20-6, 7-6), who were coming off a loss Wednesday at home against Georgetown and have dropped six of their last eight after opening the campaign with 18 straight wins.

Syracuse trailed by as many as 20 early in the second half, but scored eight straight to quickly trim that deficit, and a 20-5 run drew the Orange within 69-66 with 1:37 remaining.

"We didn't have enough dribble penetration," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said of the season-half struggles from his club. "You can't get good shots against Syracuse unless you dribble penetrate. We did in the first half, in the second half we fatigued."

Louisville took the shot clock down to the final seconds before Rick Jackson was called for a foul with 1:01 remaining, giving the Cardinals a new 35- second clock.

Chris Smith was fouled with 28.3 seconds left and was awarded two free throws instead of the one-and-one that was originally called. He hit both from the stripe for a five-point lead.

Triche missed a long three-point try for Syracuse and Kris Joseph was tied up after grabbing the offensive rebound. The alternate possession went to Louisville and Peyton Siva drained only the first of a one-and-one from the line.

Jardine countered with a three-pointer with 6.5 seconds left to again pull the Orange within three and Siva was quickly fouled on the inbound. He made the front end of a one-and-one for a four-point lead to seal it.

"It's disappointing. We left too big of a hole for ourselves to get out of," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "We made a great effort and got our offense going and did some good things on the defensive end, but you can't get that far behind."

Syracuse led by four early before Louisville briefly went in front at 17-15 on a Smith three-pointer. The Orange followed with an 11-2 run, the last five from Triche for a 26-19 edge with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Louisville, though, erupted for 21 of the last 25 points to head into the break with a 40-30 cushion.

Knowles hit the tying free throw and followed with a shot from beyond the arc to cap a string of 10 straight points for a 29-26 lead. After two free throws from C.J. Fair briefly interrupted the Louisville run, Knowles and Kuric each hit from long range and came up with a steal that led to a Siva layup for a 37-28 edge.

Jardine's layup with seven seconds to play allowed for one more Louisville possession and Knowles drilled a shot from about 30 feet just before the buzzer to send the Cardinals into the locker room with a 10-point advantage.

Louisville made 9-of-17 three-point tries in the opening 20 minutes, led by a 5-of-8 effort from Knowles. The Cardinals also forced nine Syracuse turnovers and did not allow Jackson, the Orange's top inside threat, to take a shot.

The Cardinals came out of the break with the first five points to open a 45-30 bulge before Jackson took his first shot and converted to stop the momentum. It was only for a moment, as Louisville answered with the next six for a comfortable 19-point margin.

After Syracuse scored five straight, Louisville called a timeout and responded with three-pointers from Knowles and Kuric on consecutive possessions for a 57-37 lead. The Orange followed with eight points in the next minute to pull within 12 and stayed within striking distance before the late run.

Game Notes

Triche made 4-of-9 three-point tries and Jardine was 4-for-8 as the Orange finished 9-of-20 from beyond the arc...Syracuse shot 51.1 percent, but made only 12-of-19 free throws...Fair scored 11 points off the Syracuse bench, while Jackson finished with just seven points and seven rebounds...Siva had eight points...Louisville leads the all-time series, 13-4...Syracuse returns home for a Monday night matchup with West Virginia...Louisville next plays at Cincinnati on Wednesday.