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Louisville no match for Maryland, falls to 0-7

The pain continues after a 79-54 loss to the Terps.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville men’s basketball team once again trailed from start to finish in a 79-54 loss to No. 22 Maryland Tuesday night in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. The loss dropped the Cards to 0-7 in Kenny Payne’s first season as head coach.

U of L’s current eight-game losing streak, which dates back to the final game of last season, is its longest since a 12-game losing streak that ended on Feb. 12, 1941.

Cardinal fans hoping to at least see some signs of progress weren’t gifted with much Tuesday night.

From the jump, Maryland took command of the game by being the more aggressive, the more physical and the more fundamentally sound team. Louisville, meanwhile, once again struggled with turnovers (13), decision making, and interior defense. The Cards also yet again let a relatively close game (37-26) balloon into a blowout during the opening minutes of the second half.

El Ellis led the Cards with 16 points, but he went just 6-for-16 from the field and committed four turnovers against three assists. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield contributed eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

With the loss, Louisville will end its run in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge with a 4-5 record. The Cards had been 4-0 in Challenge home games before Tuesday’s defeat.

I mentioned it during the game preview earlier today, but Louisville and Maryland were essentially twins last season. Two proud programs with passionate fan bases having unexpected down years who both limped to the finish after parting ways with their head coaches in the middle of the campaign.

Eight months later, it was impossible to watch these two teams square off and not be envious of where they are compared to where we are.