Louisville lost its second straight tough game in a row on Tuesday night, this time at the hands of Villanova. Over the weekend, the Cardinals lost a tough home game to No. 6-ranked Syracuse. However, the Wildcats are a team they should have beaten. Had they been more successful from the charity stripe, Rick Pitino’s team may have come away with a win.
Louisville hit only 12 of its 24 free throw attempts, and Pitino was livid about it after the game. So livid, in fact, that he decided to take it out on Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.
“It was really a simple answer to why we lost,” Pitino told reporters, via the Courier-Journal. “Basically we were Dwight Howard or Shaquille O’Neal. We came down we had a six-point lead and it could have been eight. Could have kept coming down and extending it but our free throws were a turnover. Very simple answer for why we lost. Our foul shooting was despicable.”
The final score was 73-64, so obviously the free throws the Cardinals missed were crucial. Louisville missed the front end of a one-and-one on two occasions down the stretch, which made it incredibly difficult to close out a game that they led in the second half. At one point, forward Chane Behanan missed five free throws in a row.
The Cardinals has lost two games since being ranked No. 1 in the nation, and they have not gotten off to a good start in Big East play. If they don’t solve their free-throw shooting woes going forward, they’ll be in danger of falling even further.
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