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Louisville faces off against Orange as Cards set for second game of three-game road swing Wednesday

Louisville (11-4, 6-3 ACC) will play its second of three games in six days as the Cardinals visit the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday in Syracuse, N.Y.

Louisville beat Georgia Tech 74-58 in the KFC Yum! Center on Monday as two Cardinals produced double-doubles in David Johnson with 10 rebounds and a career-high 24 points, and Samuell Williamson with career-bests of 20 points and 18 rebounds. They became the first pair of Louisville teammates with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game since Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier did it on Feb. 11, 2015 against Pittsburgh. UofL gathered a season-high 56 rebounds — including 20 off the offensive glass — the most by a UofL team in six years.

Louisville’s David Johnson drives against Georgia Tech. (Photo from UofL)

Syracuse (10-5, 4-4 ACC) has won three of their last four, including a 76-73 home victory over NC State on Jan. 31 as Alan Griffin led Syracuse with 19 points, four steals and three blocked shots. The teams will play again on Feb. 17 in Louisville.

Syracuse is among the nation’s top 25 statistically in free throw percentage (.798, 7th in the nation), blocked shots (4.9, 22nd), steals (8.7, 24th), and assists/turnovers ratio (1.44, 20th). The Orange, with all five starters averaging scoring in double figures, lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.403), three-point field goal percentage defense (.297), assists (16.7), and blocked shots (4.9) and is second in scoring offense (77.7). Syracuse is No. 47 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 51 in the NET rankings, No. 26 in ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 47 by Ken Pomeroy through Feb. 1.

Louisville leads 19-10 in its series vs. Syracuse, winning six of the last nine. In last year’s matchup, the Cardinals prevailed 90-66 (2-19-20) as UofL made 10-of-24 threes and held a 45-36 rebounding advantage. Five Cardinals scored in double figures, led by Jordan Nwora’s 17 points, while Malik Williams produced his fifth career double-double (14 pts.,13 reb.).

Carlik Jones, named to The Sporting News Mid-Season All-America team last week and the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List on Monday, ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (17.4 ppg) and third in assists (4.9 apg). Jones has 97 career double-figure scoring efforts, including the last 37 consecutive games (all 14 at UofL). He needs four points for 1,800 in his career. Jones has collected 15 steals in the last seven games.

On Monday, the Cardinals held Georgia Tech to just 32.4 percent (22-for-68) shooting on the day, the lowest for an ACC opponent against Louisville this season and the lowest for the Yellow Jackets this season. The Cards also limited Georgia Tech to its fewest points scored this season while holding them without a field goal for the last 6:36 of first half. Georgia Tech is the eighth UofL opponent to shoot under 40 percent this season and the fifth to shoot below 35 percent. Also, UofL committed just nine turnovers against a team that entered the game eighth in the nation in steals.

Louisville is among the top defensive teams in the ACC, ranking second in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.401), fourth in scoring defense (64.2 ppg) and third in three-point field goal defense (.309). UofL has held eight opponents below 40 percent accuracy from the field.

From UofL Athletics

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