Louisville basketball hits a January slump

There is the old coaching adage about not letting one loss turn into two.

Just ask Louisville.

After taking a tough home 70-68 loss to Syracuse on Saturday, the formerly top-ranked Cards came out Tuesday night and lost to at an inferior Villanova team, 73-64, in Philadelphia. That’s the same Villanova that lost by 22 points to Alabama on a neutral floor earlier in the year, by the way.

And Louisville looked bad doing it. The Cards made just 12 of 24 free throws, a foul line exhibition that Rick Pitino called “despicable.” Louisville took 18 free throws in the second half. It made just seven. Twice it missed the front end of a bonus situation.

More troubling was that for the second straight game, Louisville struggled to score down the stretch. The Cards led Syracuse by five with 7:30 to go on Saturday and suffered a prolonged scoring drought. Tuesday night, Louisville led the Wildcats by six with 7:30 to go and went five minutes without a field goal.

Peyton Siva had a rough outing against Syracuse, making just one of nine shots. Russ Smith had a tough night in Philly, making just one of 10 shots.

It doesn’t get much easier for Pitino’s team. Louisville travels to Georgetown on Saturday for a noon matchup.

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