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Feb 6, 2024 2:56 pm

Syracuse meets Louisville, aims to get back into win column

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield

Louisville got a much-needed victory in its most recent game, and Syracuse would love to do the same Wednesday night when the Orange host the Cardinals in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

The Cardinals (7-15, 2-9 ACC) are mired in another difficult season and had lost six straight games before defeating Florida State on Saturday. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield scored a career-high 29 points for Louisville in the 101-92 victory, while Ty-Laur Johnson had 27 points and 11 assists.

“I believe in my team,” Louisville coach Kenny Payne said. “But we have to get experience, we have to continue to learn and get better. That is the reason you don’t give up on guys. We beat a very good team tonight.”

Syracuse coach Adrian Autry wasn’t in such good spirits after his team was walloped by Wake Forest 99-70 on Saturday. The Orange (14-8, 5-6) allowed the Demon Deacons to shoot 66 percent from the field and 12 of 19 from 3-point range in losing for the third time in the last four games.

“I’d like to apologize to our fans, our university, for that performance,” Autry said. “It’s unacceptable. Won’t be tolerated. Won’t be allowed. Won’t allow it.”

The Orange have allowed two straight opponents to shoot at least 60 percent from the field and have given up 80 points or more in those two outings.

The defensive weaknesses could be a welcome sight for Cardinals guard Mike James. The sophomore is the team’s leading scorer at an average of 13.6 points per game, but he has shot just 17 of 59 (28.8 percent) over the last six outings.

Meanwhile, Syracuse’s top scorer is sophomore guard Judah Mintz (18.2 ppg), who has scored in double digits in 14 straight games.

The Orange edged the Cardinals 70-69 in the only meeting between the teams last season. Louisville leads the all-time series 19-12.

–Field Level Media

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