Syracuse's men's basketball team had a rough week, tumbling out of the top 10 after back-to-back defeats against Big East championship contenders.
First, the Orange got beat by no. 4 Pittsburgh 78-60 on Jan. 19. Given that, how would SU bounce back, given the challenging schedule that loomed ahead?
Specifically, Louisville came nex0t. The no. 9 Cardinals were one the hottest in the teams in the Big East, posting an unblemished 5-0 league mark, based mostly on interior. Louisville ranked third in the conference in rebounding.
When SU clashed with Louisville Sunday afternoon in the Carrier Dome, it was a tightly contested defensive battle.
However, down the stretch the Cardinals took over, closing on a 13-2 run with clutch perimeter shots, including a 3-point dagger by Earl Clark, giving SU a 67-57 defeat in front of 25,721 mostly disappointed SU fans.
Louisville had now won seven in a row, while SU (17-4, 5-3 Big East) had lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, including three out of four.
The Cardinals' Terence Williams led all scorers with 16 points and collected 13 rebounds. Clark scored 15 points and dished out five assists.
In took 25 minutes before Jim Boehiem made it to the post game conference and he really did not have much to say when he arrived to the podium.
"I thought both teams played well defensively," said Boeheim. "We couldn't make anything and they couldn't make anything. I thought that it came down that one big play and we did not get that rebound and then Clark got the three."
Jonny Flynn said that work under the boards had a lot to do with the outcome.
"I think one key stat was rebounding," he said. "They got a lot of extra possessions that we have to cut down. We have hit to the boards as well as start our offense out fast."