Durr scores 27, No. 4 Louisville beats Syracuse 84-77
By JOHN KEKIS
Feb. 04, 2018
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Make no mistake — Louisville relishes playing on the road.
Asia Durr scored 27 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the fourth-ranked Cardinals beat Syracuse 84-77 on Sunday.
It was the 13th straight road win for the Cardinals (24-1, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), whose last road loss was an 85-66 setback at Notre Dame a year ago. They have won four straight since suffering their only loss, a one-point setback at home to No. 10 Florida State.
"It's huge for us anytime we can get one on the road," said Durr, who hit five 3-pointers. "We know it's hard to win on the road. They (Syracuse) played well, they played hard."
After reeling off 11 straight wins in the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome, the Orange (17-7, 5-6) suffered their second straight setback. They have five games left in the regular season as they aim for a postseason berth.
"We've identified that the number is 10 (wins in the conference)," Orange coach Quentin Hillsman said. "The last five games are urgent."
Sam Fuehring had 12 points and Sydney Zambrotta added eight as the deep Louisville bench flexed its muscle.
Digna Strautmane led the Orange with 22 points, her third straight 20-point game, and Tiana Mangakahia had 20 points and 10 assists with 10 turnovers.
Led by Strautmane's eight points, the Orange were out front for most of the first quarter, hitting 10 of 15 shots in a fast-paced start, an upset on the mind.
"We started off extremely slow in the first quarter," Durr said. "We didn't play hard. We had no tempo, no energy. But coach got on us and we held each other accountable and we bounced back."
A layup by Hines-Allen pulled the Cardinals within 23-21 at the buzzer, and Kylee Shook scored four points to key a 7-2 spurt early in the second as the Orange cooled off, misfiring four times from long range, and fell behind by five.
"We weren't quite as focused defensively," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "We allowed too many breakdowns and they made shots. I thought we regrouped after the first quarter."
Syracuse got untracked and closed to within a point on consecutive 3s from Miranda Drummond and Strautmane, but Zambrotta's 3 at the buzzer gave the Cardinals a 40-35 lead at the break and they never trailed again.
Durr's 3 early in the third quarter boosted Louisville's lead to 45-35 as the Cardinals scored nine straight points to take a double-digit lead. Consecutive layups by Hines-Allen gave the Cardinals a commanding 53-38 lead midway through the period.
"Once we started getting settled down and made them guard us, it was a lot easier," Hines-Allen said. "It gave us control of the game."
Syracuse closed to 53-44 on a 3-pointer by Isis Young with 4:40 left in the period, but the combination of Durr and Hines-Allen and Louisville's deep bench proved too much to overcome.
"We're just a young team, and it shows," Hillsman said. "They're a team that understands the urgency of a possession. You've got to make tough plays and we didn't make tough plays. Louisville is a great team. They don't let you off the hook."
After the Orange cut the lead to 74-65 on a pair of free throws by Mangakahia with 4:13 left in the game, Hines-Allen responded with two straight baskets and Fuehring hit a 3 from the top of the key.
The Cardinals should stay entrenched at No. 4, barring an upset in the top three.
PLAY FOR KAY
Syracuse designated the game as its annual Play 4 Kay game. Fans were encouraged to wear pink and a table was set up in the Carrier Dome backcourt where fans could make donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in honor of Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow.
ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE
All nine players who saw action for Louisville scored. Shook and Jazmine Jones each had six points, while Bionca Dunham and Arica Carter had two apiece.
"Everyone contributes, whether it shows up on the stat sheet or not," Hines-Allen said. "Somehow, some way, every last one of us contributes."
Louisville: The Cardinals are tied for first place in the conference with Notre Dame and will remain there, and they hold the upper hand, compliments of a 100-67 victory over the Irish in January.
Syracuse: The home losing streak puts the Orange in a tough spot with the postseason looming. Syracuse was ranked No. 35 nationally in RPI and seventh in the ACC.
Louisville: The Cardinals host Clemson on Wednesday night.
Syracuse: The Orange have a week off before a game at Wake Forest next Sunday.