Slow Start Dooms Louisville Against Florida State

FSU led by as much as 24 points in the first half of the Monday night matchup

(Photo of David Johnson: Melina Myers/USA TODAY Sports)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Hoping to bounce back from their first ACC loss of the season down at Miami, the Louisville men's basketball program unfortunately saw the start of a conference losing streak at the KFC Yum! Center, falling to Florida State 78-65 on Monday night.

The Cardinals (9-3, 4-2 ACC), who were bounced from the AP Top 25 earlier that day, allowed the Seminoles to connect on 42.9% of their three-pointers and score 14 points off 12 Louisville turnovers. FSU shot 50.0% from the field.

On the other end, four Cardinals finished in double figures, but not much scoring was found elsewhere. Carlik Jones led all scorers with 17, followed by 15 from David Johnson, 14 from Jae'Lyn Wither and 12 from Samuell Williamson. Outside of that quartet, Louisville had just seven points.

Despite a 34-15 lead in the overall series, Louisville falls to 0-4 against Florida State under head coach Chris Mack.

Like all season long, the Cardinals have had incredibly slow starts. However, none was perhaps slower and more disheveled than their start in this game. Louisville could not guard FSU out on the perimeter, allowing them to connect on eight of their first twelve three-pointers. Conversely, they missed 14 of their first 19 shots, allowing the Noles to lead by as much as 24 in the first half.

But thanks to Jae'Lyn Withers and David Johnson, Louisville had some life to end the first half. The Cards went on a 12-2 run, cutting FSU's lead to 42-28 heading into halftime.

Louisville played with more energy and effort in the second half, but had trouble pulling away from FSU. In the first eight minutes of the half, the Noles' lead just fluctuated in a five point swing from as much as 16 to as little as 11.

A short spurt midway through the half by the Cards saw them pull the game to within eight, and had a chance to make it six thanks to a steal and breakaway. However, Louisville would turn the ball over on the push, and lead directly to a 12-2 FSU run and back to a nearly twenty point lead.

Next up for Louisville, they will continue their three-game homestretch host the Duke Blue Devils. Tipoff is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24 at 4:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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