for this game

Clark, Louisville hold off Syracuse

Jan 25, 2009 - 11:59 PM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Earl Clark and Louisville continued their recent hot stretch with an unprecedented win in the Carrier Dome.

Clark scored five pivotal late points and finished with 16, leading 12th-ranked Louisville to a 67-57 victory over No. 8 Syracuse on Sunday afternoon.

It was the seventh consecutive win for the Cardinals (15-3, 6-0 Big East), who remained tied with Marquette atop the conference standings.

Louisville has beaten four ranked teams, including then-No. 1 Pittsburgh, over its seven-game winning streak. But Sunday's victory was historic for the Cardinals, who had lost their first three trips to the raucous Carrier Dome.

"This was important," said Clark, who also had 13 rebounds. "Everybody was telling us how tough it is to play in here. When we walked in and saw how many people there were, it was just great."

Syracuse (17-4, 5-3) appeared primed to extend its home dominance against Louisville when Eric Devendorf sank a 3-pointer to give the Orange a 55-54 lead with just under three minutes remaining.

But Clark responded on the ensuing possession, grabbing an offensive rebound before draining a shot from beyond the arc to give Louisville the lead for good at 57-55.

"When Devendorf hit the big shot, we didn't hang our heads," Clark said. "We came together as a team."

"The (3-pointer) was the big play, that was the key," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Neither team was making anything. We didn't get that one rebound possession and he made the shot. That was it. The one shot they needed to make they made."

After hauling in a defensive rebound and getting fouled 30 seconds later, Clark calmly made two free throws to give the Cardinals some breathing room at 59-55.

Terrence Williams scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Edgar Sosa chipped in 13 points for Louisville, which limited Syracuse to just 35 percent (18-of-51) shooting.

Devendorf scored 20 points to pace Syracuse, which concluded a string of four straight games against ranked teams. The Orange went 1-3 in that span.

"They have been tough games," Syracuse reserve forward Kris Joseph said. "I mean, we expected to win a lot more games than we did. We expected better than one of four. The teams we played were good teams."

Orange point guard Jonny Flynn scored 12 points despite shooting just 3-of-12 from the floor. Arinze Onuaku added 11 points and nine rebounds for Syracuse.

Louisville jumped out to a 30-20 lead 12 minutes into the contest on Clark's layup. But Devendorf completed a three-point play in the final minute of the first half as Syracuse entered the break facing a 38-33 deficit.

The teams exchanged the lead three times early in the second half before Devendorf sank two free throws to give Syracuse a 46-44 edge with 12:33 remaining.

However, Louisville responded with a 10-2 run capped by Williams' jumper that made it 54-48 with 7:32 left.

"We're a veteran team," Williams said. "We've been in that position before. We just had to go from there and be patient on offense."

Syracuse scored the game's next seven points and took its final lead of the game on Devendorf's 3-pointer from the corner. But it was all Louisville from there, as Clark's 3-pointer ignited an 13-2 run to close out the contest.