Extended defensive lapses and an inability to keep Duke off the offensive glass doomed Louisville in a 79-62 loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium Monday night.
Early on, it looked like the Cardinals might be poised to pull off their first stretch of consecutive wins during conference play. El Ellis scored 11 points in the game’s opening five minutes as Louisville raced out to an 18-9 lead. Duke then responded with an 18-2 run that gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
Ellis, the reining ACC Co-Player of the Week, led Louisville with 21 points to go along with seven assists. JJ Traynor also delivered another strong performance, knocking down 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc and finishing with 16 points.
Every time U of L seemed to be on the verge of making things interesting, the Blue Devils responded with a bucket off of a second chance opportunity. The ACC’s best rebounding team, Duke finished the night with 12 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Louisville at Cameron and dropped the Cards to 4-24 overall and 2-15 in the ACC. Just three regular season games remain for U of L, which will go for a season sweep of Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta.