LOUISVILLE — Guess what happened to undefeated Louisville on its way to Lexington?
No. 12 Georgetown knocked off the fourth-ranked Cardinals 71-68 Wednesday in the KFC Yum Center.
U of L went down fighting, rallying from a 10-point deficit in the second half to tie the game with two minutes left. The Cards couldn't recapture the lead, though.
"It was a very good win against a very good team in a difficult place to play," winning coach John Thompson III said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
In losing the Big East opener for both teams, Louisville missed a chance to tie the school record for best start to a season — 13-0.
The Cardinals also had a 21-game home-floor winning streak snapped.
Now the Cards can look ahead to a New Year's Eve game — at Kentucky.
"Motivation," U of L forward Chane Behanan said of Wednesday's loss. "Just like any other team going undefeated, winning a lot of games back-to-back, they get too comfortable with themselves. They stop focusing fundamentally and just get out of their game plan. I think we needed this loss."
Georgetown (11-1) won its ninth game in a row since a 67-63 loss to Kansas in last month's Maui Classic.
"A disappointing loss," U of L Coach Rick Pitino said. "Our guys continued to fight, and fight hard. We did some good things with our pressure, but I thought we really rushed and jacked up shots when it was still a game."
Markel Starks led Georgetown with 20 points. Otto Porter had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Hollis Thompson added 10 points.
Kyle Kuric made five three-pointers and led Louisville with 17 points. Peyton Siva added 15 points, six assists and five steals. Russ Smith totaled 14 points.
Gorgui Dieng, with five consecutive double-doubles, was limited to 26 minutes because of fouls. He notched seven points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
U of L led by as many as nine in the first half, and used a 7-0 run early in the second half to take a 44-39 lead.
Georgetown came back with a 7-0 run of its own, though, the start of a 20-5 flurry that gave the Hoyas a 59-49 lead with 6:14 left.
Key in that spurt was Starks, who hit all four of his three-pointers in the second half. He finished 7-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-4 from long range, and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line.
"It was just shots were available and I took them," said Starks, a 6-2 sophomore. "When you're in the heat of the battle, you're just playing in the flow of the game. Shots are going to come."
The Hoyas extended the lead to 63-52 before Louisville turned up the defensive pressure to trigger an 11-0 run.
Russ Smith hit a trey, Siva both ends of a one-and-one and Behanan a dunk.
After Georgetown's third consecutive turnover, Siva bulled his way in close and flipped in a fadeaway.
Dieng tied it at 63, thanks to a goaltending call at 2:02.
Porter scored on a put-back with 1:41 left to put the Hoyas on top to stay.
While U of L would miss three-pointers on its next two trips down the floor, Georgetown added two free throws each by Henry Sims and Porter for a 69-63 lead.
Russ Smith's three with 21 seconds left halved the deficit.
Porter added two free throws with 19.7 left.
Russ Smith missed a three-pointer, and U of L didn't score until Rakeem Buckles' rebound bucket at the buzzer.
"It's never easy going off a loss," Siva said. "But I think this humbled a lot of us. ... We've got a lot to work on. Georgetown's a great team, a better team than us today, and we have a lot to work on going into Kentucky."