Peyton Siva carries No. 4 Louisville past Notre Dame
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Senior playmaker Peyton Siva recorded 12 points, six assists and a record-tying seven steals as No. 4 Louisville advanced to the Big East final for the third straight time after beating No. 24 Notre Dame, 69-57, Friday at Madison Square Garden.
Siva tied the Big East Championship single-game record with seven steals, becoming the 11th player to register seven steals in a tournament game and the first since Louisville’s Terrence Williams accomplished it against Syracuse in the 2009 final.
With seven steals, Siva also set Louisville’s career steals record with 236 in his career, passing the old mark of 230 held by Darrell Griffith.
“I just felt we were at a couple of bad places at one time, and Peyton Siva kept bailing us out one rotation after another. He’s just an incredible player,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of his senior player after the game.
Russ Smith scored 20 and Luke Hancock added 11 for the Cardinal, who will face No. 19 ranked Syracuse in the championship game Saturday also at the Garden.
The Orange (26-8) earlier beat top-seeded and fifth-ranked Georgetown, 58-55, in the other semifinal showdown.
“It’s very exciting to be in another final game, especially the last year of existence in the Big East. So we’re very excited,” said Pitino, who picked up his 13th career win in the Big East Championship, tying P.J. Carlesimo, Rollie Massimino and John Thompson III for fourth all-time.
Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant scored 14 points each for the Fighting Irish, who dropped to 0-4 against Louisville in the Big East Championship.
Pat Connaughton hit three 3-point field goals and finished with 15 for the tournament, falling short of the tournament record of 16, set by Syracuse’s Gerry McNamara and James Southerland.