The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals opened ACC play with a nail biting 62 – 58 win against the Syracuse Orange.
With Syracuse effectively limiting Kylee Shook and Dana Evans, the Cardinals looked to senior Jazmine Jones to score. Jones notched 24 points, eclipsing 20 points for the fifth time this season.
Elizabeth Balogun, despite having a rough past few games, came up huge for Louisville. The sophomore racked up 13 points and 4 rebounds.
The Orange came into today’s match facing its third ranked opponent in the month of December. On the season, Syracuse has played six opponents in the Top 25, including Louisville.
The Orange have played this season without its starting guard, Tiana Mangakahia, who is out indefinitely as she battles cancer. However, the senior from Australia was present for the game and looked to be doing well.
The Orange took a quick 8 – 2 advantage before the Cardinals scored 8 unanswered points to even the match at 10. Louisville finished the quarter behind, 20 – 19.
Louisville tightened up defensively in the second, limiting Syracuse to 17% shooting. The Cardinals also struggled on offense scoring only 12 points – 10 of which came from Jazmine Jones.
At the half, Louisville held a 31 – 30 advantage.
The Cardinals sprinted out on a 17 – 7 run out of the half. Jones, Elizabeth Balogun and Dana Evans each recorded 4 points. Louisville continued its strong defense, converting 6 Syracuse turnovers into 9 points. Louisville held a 50 – 43 lead into the fourth.
Syracuse’s Teisha Hyman knocked down back-to-back triples midway through the fourth to tie the game at 54. Syracuse outscored the Cardinals, 15 – 12, but ultimately, Louisville picked up the win.
Despite the scoring woes, the Cardinals only turned the ball over 5 times. Louisville forced 17 Syracuse turnovers, converting the 17 turnovers into 16 points. The Cardinals also outscored the Orange 24 – 18 in the paint.
The Cardinals hit the road to face the Clemson Tigers on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 7PM.