Dana Evans scored 23 points and fourth-ranked Louisville dominated the second quarter to beat Syracuse 71-46 in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
GREENSBORO, N.C. —
Dana Evans scored 23 points and fourth-ranked Louisville dominated the second quarter to beat Syracuse 71-46 in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Jazmine Jones added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Cardinals (28-3), who had no trouble avenging their last loss from nearly a month ago at Syracuse. Louisville blew the game open by allowing just one field goal in the second quarter while dominating the glass.
The combination allowed coach Jeff Walz’s Cardinals to turn a six-point lead after the first quarter into a 34-13 lead by halftime despite their own 38% shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
Louisville finished the game shooting 43% and 12 of 23 from 3-point range, while its 53-31 domination of the boards led to a 25-5 edge second-chance points.
Kiara Lewis scored 18 for the eighth-seeded Orange (16-15), who couldn’t repeat the success they had managed against the Cardinals in two meetings – which included a close road loss in late December.
Syracuse shot just 27% this time, including 5 for 23 from behind the arc.
And everything unraveled amid that awful second-quarter performance, with the Orange making 1 of 14 shots – and that was a banked-in straightaway 3-pointer from Lewis – while grabbing only four rebounds amid all those misses as Louisville steadily increased its lead.
Syracuse: The Orange had advanced to the quarterfinals with Thursday’s win against Virginia, putting five players in double figures while holding the Cavaliers to a season-low 50 points. But they got into an early hole (down 7-0 and 12-2) that turned into a crater in the second quarter, which ended with them shooting 5 of 29 (17%) with eight turnovers by halftime.
Louisville: The Cardinals entered Greensboro as the unquestioned headliner after winning the regular-season race outright for the first time since joining the league before the 2014-15 season. They had their troubles with Syracuse this year, winning the first meeting at home 62-58 and then trailing for nearly 36 minutes of the 59-51 loss in the Carrier Dome on Feb. 9. But they took care of this in stress-free fashion – well, other than Walz picking up a technical foul with Louisville up 24 midway through the fourth quarter after being irked by a foul call.
Syracuse: The Orange must wait to see if they qualify for any postseason play.
Louisville: The Cardinals advanced to Saturday’s semifinals to face No. 22 Florida State, which beat Wake Forest earlier Friday.
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