Louisville hangs on to beat Pittsburgh 62-59 in overtime.
Pittsburgh (25-4, 13-3 Big East) trailed every second of the game after leading 8-7 early in the first half. They consistently played catch-up throughout the course of the second half. Every time the Panthers got it to one possession, Louisville (22-7, 11-5 Big East) made clutch shots to increase the lead. The Cardinals, as a whole, shot 8-30 from three-point range, but most of those threes came in opportunistic times.
Finally, late in the game, the Panthers tied the score twice by the way of Brad Wanamaker’s two jump-shots.
Early in overtime, the Cardinals Kyle Kuric sparked the session with his second three of the contest. The Panthers didn’t make a field goal in the session, but had an opportunity to tie with .5 seconds left in the game thanks to a Cardinals cheerleader who celebrated early after a Kuric dunk that should have sealed the deal. He came on to floor and threw the ball in the air because he thought there was no time left. A technical foul was charged to Louisville. Ashton Gibbs sunk two free throws to bring it to within three, but the Panthers failed to get a shot off with the time remaining.
Peyton Siva led the way for the Cardinals with 14 points. Preston Knowles shot 3-12 from the floor, but hit a crucial shot late in regulation to give Louisville the lead. He finished with 8 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.
Mike Marra was the spark off the bench. He shot 3-8 from distance and had 11 points.
Gilbert Brown scored 20 points, Ashton Gibbs added 14 points and Wanamaker had 13 points, 12 rebounds, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
The Panthers were hungry for a field goal for long stretches in the first half at the KFC Yum! Center. They started 3-17 from the floor, including nine straight missed field goals. They led 8-7 early, but Louisville ran off 10 straight points to go up 17-8. They went on a 17-3 run that really put the pressure on the Panthers.
Pittsburgh shot 8-25 (32 percent) from the floor in the half. They ended up making a few shots late that brought them to within six points.
After a Marra three-pointer and two free throws from Peyton Siva, the score at halftime was 31-22 Cardinals.
Brown led the way for the Panthers with 8 points in the half. Wanamaker scored only four points, but grabbed 7 rebounds.
Gibbs scored four points in the first half. He was 0-5 from the floor, but was 4-5 from the free-throw line.
Louisville out-rebounded Pittsburgh 19-18. They shared the ball well dishing out nine assists. 15 of their 31 points came from behind the arc.
Siva and Marra both scored 8 points, but the balance of the Cardinals prevailed early as seven players scored in the first half.
The loss just shows how tough it is to win on the road in the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh looks to bounce back at South Florida on Wednesday.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.