Teams: No. 23 Syracuse Orange (7-1, 4-1 ACC) at No. 1 Louisville (12-0, 5-0 ACC)
Day & Time: Thursday, January 21 at 9 p.m. EST
Location: KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, K.Y.
TV/Streaming: ESPN2 with Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli
Opponent Blog: Card Chronicle
Rivalry: Louisville leads 13-7
Current Streak: Louisville is 5-1 in the last six match-ups
Teams Last Meeting: The Cardinals defeated the Orange, 71-46, in the quarterfinals of the 2020 ACC Tournament. Kiara Lewis led Syracuse in scoring with 18 points.
Orange Storylines This Week:
- Priscilla Williams was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week. Williams went 9-9 from the field (6-6 from three) to lead all scorers with a career-high of 26 points in Sunday’s win over Miami.
- The Orange stand at No. 23 (+1) in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 20 (+1) in the USA TODAY/WBCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
- Syracuse averages a 14.8 margin of victory this season. Freshman Kamilla Cardoso leads the team with 14.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. Kiara Lewis (13.4), Tiana Mangakahia (12), and Priscilla Williams (11.6) are contributing double-digit scoring for ‘Cuse this season. Emily Engstler is also averaging a near double-double this season with 10.2 rebounds and 9.3 points per contest.
- The Orange rank in the top-5 of the ACC in blocked shots (1st), steals (2nd), opponent field goal % (2nd), 3-pt field goals made (2nd), opponent 3-pt % (2nd), scoring offense (3rd), scoring margin (3rd), rebounding offense (3rd), defensive rebounds (3rd), assists (3rd), and offensive rebounds (4th).
- Individually in the conference, Williams ranks first in 3-pt %, Cardoso ranks first in field goal % and blocked shots, Mangakahia ranks first in assists, fifth in free throw %, and fifth in steals, Engstler ranks fourth in rebounding, and Lewis ranks fourth in steals.
- Erica Morrow, a 2011 ‘Cuse graduate, has rejoined head coach Quentin Hillsman in Central New York as an assistant coach.
- On December 2nd, 2020, the Syracuse Athletics staff were able to adjust and achieve a live basketball game despite a location change in under 60 minutes. This is their story.
- The NCAA announced the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be held in one geographic area and is in preliminary talks with the city of San Antonio, Texas. The NCAA also announced the tournament will have a 64-team bracket, the .500 rule will be waived, and an eligibility waiver will be available for teams that do not reach a minimum of 13 games.
Syracuse’s Last Game: The Orange defeated North Carolina in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday afternoon, 88-76, to split the season series with the Tar Heels. Kiara Lewis led all scorers with 23 points off 9-19 shooting.
Three Orange players recorded double-doubles, including Tiana Mangakahia (19 pts & 13 asts), Kamilla Cardoso (16 rbs & 10 pts), and Emily Engstler (13 rbs & 11 pts). Priscilla Williams was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards. Tuesday was the second straight game five Syracuse players scored 10+ points. There were 12 total lead changes in the game, including six in the first quarter.
: Highlights from the 88-76 win over North Carolina pic.twitter.com/glnEaLH915— #23 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) January 19, 2021
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (15th year, 311-161) | Louisville - Jeff Walz (14th year, 371-104)
Opponent Coach Bio: In 13 seasons, Walz has led the Cardinals to nine NCAA Sweet 16s, five Elite Eights, three Final Fours, and two National Title games. In addition to this, Walz has coached four All-Americans, 33 all-conference selections, and 11 WNBA Draft picks. Prior to his time at Louisville, Walz spent five seasons at Maryland. He also coached at Minnesota, Nebraska, and Western Kentucky. Walz played basketball at Northern Kentucky, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in secondary education.
Opponent Last Year: Last season, Louisville went 28-7 with a 16-2 ACC record. The then-ranked No. 4 Cardinals fell in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals to Florida State, 60-62.
Opponent’s Last Game: Louisville defeated Florida State, 84-56, at home. Five Cardinals scored double-digit points in the win.
Opponent Player’s to Watch: Senior Dana Evans is averaging 19.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. She has been named the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, Preseason First Team All-ACC, Associated Press Preseason All-Americans, Drysdale Award Watch List, and Naismith Trophy Watch List this season.
If Syracuse Wins: Upsetting the No. 1 team in the country would turn national attention to Central New York.
If Syracuse Loses: Syracuse has played good teams this year, but they have yet to play a great one. Losing to the best team in the nation is not a negative, as long as it is not a blowout.