January 20, 2013

Top 25 Men: Syracuse knocks off No. 1 Louisville

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams wasn't fazed by a shaky first half, nor two missed free throws in the final minute that gave No. 1 Louisville chances to win on Saturday.

Russ Smith, Brandon Triche
click image to enlarge

Brandon Triche of Syracuse protects the ball from Louisville’s Russ Smith during Saturday’s game at Louisville, Ky. Triche scored 23 points to help the Orange secure a 70-68 victory.

The Associated Press

The sophomore just knew he had to redeem himself, and his second-half recovery in several areas helped the sixth-ranked Orange rally for a 70-68 victory.

It was the second straight Saturday that the No. 1 team went down. Duke lost to then-No. 20 North Carolina State 84-76 a week ago.

A record crowd of 22,814 at the KFC Yum! Center saw Syracuse beat a No. 1 team for the fourth time -- all Big East opponents.

Carter-Williams' most important contributions were a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining, followed by a steal and go-ahead dunk with 23 seconds left. He scored nine of his team's final 11 points, including the last four.

He added a rebound and another steal at the end to cap a 16-point, seven-assist game that made it easy to forget a five-point first half and those two missed free throws.

"I wasn't going to go out without a fight," said Carter-Williams, who finished with four assists and four steals. "They were pressuring us, coming at us in the first half. Things were going their way. The second half, I tried to fight back the best I could. I had two or three turnovers but I just kept flipping the page, flipping the page, and ended up winning the game, which was great. ...

"Those free throws, I just had to have faith in myself and just try to do anything to get the win."

Brandon Triche was 9 of 13 from the field, including five of Syracuse's seven 3-pointers, to finish with 23 points as the Orange (17-1, 5-0 Big East) took sole possession of first place in the Big East. He credited Carter-Williams for getting the win.

"Michael was the reason we won the game, getting the dunk," Triche said. "I might have kept us in the game, but he's the reason we won the game getting the two steals. That's winning stuff."

Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair each had 10 points for the Orange.

Russ Smith's 25 points led Louisville (16-2, 4-1), which had its 11-game winning streak stopped. The Cardinals shot 41 percent (24 of 59), including 29 percent in the second half.

After taking a 68-66 lead on Smith's two free throws with 1:58 left, Louisville missed two shots and committed two turnovers.

"That was a great college basketball game and they made some really terrific defensive plays down the stretch," Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said. "They made the plays, they made the shots when it counted and we didn't."

(4) KANSAS 64, TEXAS 59: Ben McLemore scored 16 points and the visiting Jayhawks (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) stormed back from a late double-digit deficit for their 15th straight win.

(7) ARIZONA 71, ARIZONA STATE 54: Mark Lyons scored 24 points and Nick Johnson added 19 as the Wildcats (16-1, 4-1 Pac-12) pulled away in the second half against the Sun Devils (14-4, 3-2) at Tempe, Ariz.

(13) BUTLER 64, (8) GONZAGA 63: Roosevelt Jones stole an inbound pass with 3.5 seconds left and hit a floater from just inside the foul line right before the buzzer to help Butler (16-2) beat Gonzaga (17-2) at Indianapolis.

(10) FLORIDA 83, (17) MISSOURI 52: Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points and 10 assists, and Florida (14-2, 4-0 SEC) routed visiting Missouri (13-4, 2-2) to give Coach Billy Donovan his 400th win with the Gators.

(Continued on page 2)

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