TALLAHASSEE, Fla .– Back on the road for a crucial Atlantic Coast Conference game against Florida State, Louisville’s men’s basketball program saw its recent momentum come to a halt, falling 79-70 to the Donald L. Tucker Center Saturday night.
The Cardinals (10-5) not only saw their winning streak interrupted at three, but suffered their first conference loss of the year, dropping to 4-1 in the ACC and falling from the top of the league standings. Meanwhile, the Seminoles (8-5) extend their winning streak against UofL to five in a row – all led by head coach Chris Mack – and improve to 2-2 in the league.
In a battle between two of the ACC’s top defensive teams, the first half was a scorching one. The Cardinals have had one of their most effective offensive basketball halves all season, scoring 40 points on 13-29 shots and 5-11 on three runs while limiting themselves to five turnovers.
Unfortunately, Florida State had an even more impressive offense right on the gates. With just four days to set up 54 against Wake Forest, the Seminoles scored 50 in the first half, with 23 of those points coming from Mills alone.
The game was relatively consistent for most of the first half, until Florida State started to put some distance between them and Louisville. In the last seven minutes with Louisville in the lead, the Noles outscored the Cards 22-11 to take a ten point lead in the locker room.
After the offensive display in the first half, the defense gained the upper hand when the teams came together again, as 59 combined points were scored after half time compared to 90 before.
FSU extended their lead to 14 in the opening minutes, but Louisville showed some fighting. After failing to score in the first 5:21 of the half, the Cardinals went on to run a 14-3 run to make it a three-point game and put them within striking distance of the ‘Noles.
Louisville managed to cut the deficit to two, but their defense ended up abandoning them. After shooting just 3-17 in the first 13 minutes of half-time, Florida State then went on to 5-6 to end the game. It also didn’t help that the Cardinals allowed the Seminoles to go 12-21 to the free throw line in the second half among their shooting struggles.
Then Louisville will return home for a rematch against NC State. Kick-off against the Wolfpack is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. EST.
(Photo by Matthew Cleveland, Noah Locke: Melina Myers – USA TODAY Sports)
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