Louisville may finally have more wins than it does injuries.
Peyton Siva's drive and layup with 1.4 seconds left gave the banged up Cardinals an ugly 62-60 win over Vanderbilt Friday evening and sent the Commodores to their second overtime loss of the week.
Louisville was missing five -- yes, five -- players to injury Friday, and that doesn't include Siva, who just recently recovered from a sprained ankle and a concussion.
The Cardinals had the final possession of regulation with the game tied at 50, and Siva looked poised to take it all the way to the rim after running down the clock. However, he quickly drew a double team as he got into the lane and found freshman Chane Behanan underneath the basket for what immediately looked like a game-winner. But after taking a dribble and stepping to the other side of the bucket, Behanan's contested shot from inside the low post banked off the rim and glanced off the glass.
In OT, Siva was able to do it himself.
On Monday, Vanderbilt lost to Xavier in extra time, and here they were in overtime again at Louisville, despite 20 turnovers. (Louisville, for the record, had 17.) This time, they didn't have Tu Holloway to contend with, but still squandered a five point lead in the extra five minutes in its third loss of the season.
The Commodores, still missing senior center Festus Ezeli to a knee injury after he served a six game suspension to start the season, showed a reluctance to go inside without him. While Vanderbilt has tended to be a three-heavy team in recent years, it might have trended too much in that direction Friday night as 26 of its 44 FG attempts were from behind the arc. Only eight field goals were attempted by forwards, and seven of Jeffrey Taylor's 11 attempts were from deep.
With the consecutive losses -- and that one to Cleveland State -- Vanderbilt will likely find itself out of the polls at 5-3 after starting at No. 7. But it's still plenty early. If Ezeli can provide a down-low scoring threat and open up the lane for Taylor to get to the rim, all is not lost. But if the trend of relying entirely too much on outside shooting -- primarily John Jenkins -- continues when Ezeli does return, Vandy's hopes of hanging with Florida and Kentucky in the SEC East may be farfetched.