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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2010

Louisville upsets No. 2 Syracuse


Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. Syracuse waited too long to turn up the intensity against Louisville, and the second-ranked Orange paid for the lapse.

Samardo Samuels scored all eight of his points during a late surge and Jerry Smith sank a pair of clutch free throws with 17.8 seconds left as Louisville rallied past Syracuse, 66-60, yesterday.

The Cardinals (16-9, 7-5 Big East), who trailed by 11 in the first half against the Orange (24-2, 11-2), hung on to win despite missing 5 of 7 free throws in the final 1:41, including a pair by Smith just 2 seconds after the two he converted.

"We did a very good job of moving the basketball, taking smart shots, and playing good defense down the stretch," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "I thought our guys really played a very intelligent game, didn't get down when they missed their free throws and let it affect their defense."

A glance at the box score showed one big reason the Orange's 11-game winning streak came to an end: leading scorer Wes Johnson, nursing a bruised thumb on his right (shooting) hand, was 5 of 20 from the floor and had a pair of shots blocked in the final minute.

"I'm just missing shots," said Johnson, who took a hard fall in a win over Providence two weeks ago. "It ain't anything mentally or physically. My body is still not 100 percent, but I wouldn't really blame it on that. The shots that I did take, I really just missed them."

Samuels, who was assessed two early fouls, scored his first points of the game on a pair of free throws with 7:46 left and followed with a hook off the glass to tie the game at 50. Mike Marra's 3 from the left corner gave the Cardinals a three-point edge and, after a 15-foot jumper by Johnson, Samuels made a twisting layup through traffic to put Louisville up 55-52 with 5:14 left.

Samuels' dunk off an inbounds pass gave the Cardinals their biggest lead at 59-52 with 3:04 to go.

Edgar Sosa and Marra each had 12 points to lead Louisville.

Wes Johnson had 14 points for the Orange.

Rutgers 71, No. 7 Georgetown 68: Jonathan Mitchell scored a career-high 24 points, including the clinching free throws with 4.1 seconds to play, and the host Scarlet Knights (13-12, 3-9 Big East) upset the Hoyas (18-6, 8-5). It was the Scarlet Knights' first win over a top-10 team in seven years.

No. 13 Ohio State 72, Illinois 53: Jon Diebler scored 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to lead the Buckeyes (20-6, 10-3 Big Ten) over the Illini (17-9, 9-4).

WOMEN

No. 2 Stanford 98, Washington State 67: Jayne Appel scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Cardinal (23-1, 13-0 Pac-10) pound the host Cougars (6-18, 1-12), running its record against Washington State to 50-0 in a series that dates to 1983.

No. 4 Notre Dame 90, DePaul 66: Becca Bruszewski scored 19 of her career-high 25 points in the second half, Skylar Diggins added 18 points and the host Irish (23-1, 10-1 Big East) beat the Blue Demons (16-10, 5-7).

No. 5 Tennessee 83, Florida 44: Angie Bjorklund scored 24 points, including six 3s, to help the host Lady Volunteers (23-2, 11-1 SEC) beat the Gators (13-12, 6-6) to remain on top of the Southeastern Conference.

No. 7 Ohio State 64, Minnesota 59: Samantha Prahalis scored 19 points, Jantel Lavender added 14 and Tayler Hill chipped in 13 as the Buckeyes (25-3, 13-2 Big Ten) captured the outright Big Ten title with a victory over the host Gophers (12-13, 5-9).

No. 8 Duke 65, Virginia Tech 53: Jasmine Thomas scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (21-4, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) held off the host Hokies (13-12, 2-8).

No. 9 West Virginia 55, No. 16 Georgetown 46: Natalie Burton scored a season-high 11 points and Liz Repella also had 11 to lead the host Mountaineers (22-3, 9-2 Big East) to a win over the Hoyas (20-4, 9-2).

Vanderbilt 68, No. 17 Kentucky 55: Jence Rhoads scored 18 of her career-high 25 points in the second half to help the host Commodores (18-7, 7-5 Southeastern Conference) beat the Wildcats (21-4, 9-3).

No. 19 Georgia 76, Alabama 47: Ashley Houts scored 24 points to lead the host Bulldogs (20-6, 7-6 Southeastern Conference) to a win over the Crimson Tide (10-15, 2-10).

No. 23 LSU 75, Auburn 51: Allison Hightower scored 29 points to lead LSU (12-14, 3-10 Southeastern Conference) to a victory over host Auburn (12-14, 3-10).