Senior center Rakeem Christmas scored a game-high 29 points Wednesday to propel the Syracuse Orange to a 69-59 victory over the visiting No. 12-ranked Louisville Cardinals in a Atlantic Coast Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The win was SU's first against a ranked opponent this season.
Christmas scored 11 of his points from the free throw line, collected eight rebounds and blocked four shots, as he outperformed Louisville's preseason All-American selection Montrezl Harrell, who was plagued by foul trouble in the second half and scored only 15 points.
Meanwhile, SU's junior swingman Michael Gbinije kept his hot hand, well, hot netting 18 points, while sophomore forward Tyler Roberson chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Kaleb Joseph didn't do a lot scoring six points, but he nailed a key bucket in the final minute that was a key to the victory. Overall, the solid play from Christmas, Gbinije and Roberson was vital, as junior sharpshooter Trevor Cooney had his worst game of the season netting just three points on 1-of-10 shooting.
Syracuse (17-9, 8-5 ACC) trailed by four points at halftime and used an 8-0 run midway through the second half to take a lead they'd never relinquish. The Orange cemented the victory by making 21 of their 27 free-throw attempts.
A more detailed recap is coming later, but for now talk about the nice victory over Mr. Rick Pitino.