This time, the Orange completed the task.
Syracuse, unranked and hovering around .500 in ACC play, defeated No. 5 Louisville, 59-51, at home at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Sunday afternoon. The Orange (12-11, 6-6) controlled most of the game and defeated a top-5 opponent at home for the first time since 1996 when they took down UConn.
The Cardinals (21-3, 10-2) are on a two-game losing skid out of an exhibition against USA Basketball a week ago. They led for 19 seconds in total at 8-7 early in the first quarter.
Lewis shines for Syracuse in upset win
Kiara Lewis turned it on late to really put the game away. She finished with a game-high 24 points, going 7 of 16 from the floor. She made three of seven 3-pointers, but made only 7 of 11 free throws. Lewis also added four of the team’s eight steals.
Amaya Finklea-Guity and Emily Engstler each added eight points for Syracuse. Engstler added nine rebounds and six assists.
The Orange kept Louisville to eight points in the second quarter and to their lowest score at half. It was 30-20 at the break. The Cardinals won the second half, 31-29, but it wasn’t enough to crawl out of the hole. It’s the team’s second loss in conference play, joining a loss last time out to No. 17 Florida State, 67-59. Both have come with Elizabeth Balogun out at FIBA Olympic qualifying with Nigeria.
Jazmine Jones scored 15 to lead Louisville and Dana Evans added 13. She made three of her seven 3-pointers, but shot 4 of 17 overall. Kylee Shook continued to lead on the glass, grabbing 13 rebounds with three steals and three blocks.
Syracuse was close to taking out Louisville in their first conference meeting at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville on Dec. 29. The Cardinals were ranked seventh in the AP poll at the time and won, 62-58, in both team’s conference opener. It was tied at 54 halfway through the fourth quarter and the two traded leads down the stretch.
Louisville losses shake up postseason look
In the ACC, the Cardinals’ back-to-back losses drop them behind N.C. State (11-1) for control of a top seed in the conference tournament within a month. Florida State (9-4), North Carolina (7-5) and Duke (7-5) trail.
The Cardinals had a shot at moving up in the AP rankings when the back end of the week started. No. 4 UConn got dismantled at home against Oregon last week hours after the polls were released, opening up some movement. Then Louisville struggled against Florida State and will likely drop further with the loss against Syracuse.
More important than weekly rankings is the seeding for the tournaments. They were listed as one of the top four seeds at last week’s initial release and seeded in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A loss to an unranked squad will be considered in the next release in March. The committee said it spent a lot of time discussing the top 16 seeds this past reveal and that final No. 1 spot seems to be up for grabs behind South Carolina, Baylor and Oregon.
More from Yahoo Sports: