Louisville victorious over Pitt Sunday
By: Jacque Howell
The Pittsburgh Panthers walked off the court to a disappointing loss against No. 8 Louisville Cardinals Sunday with a final score of 48-35. For this No. 8 team, however, it was the lowest scoring total for a win since the 2012 season game against Texas A&M.
‘‘We were getting stops and we just couldn’t get over the hump and find ways to score. It was a tough finish for us,” Pittsburgh head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said after the game.
Although Pittsburgh lost, the team’s defense managed to cause Louisville to have the worst shooting performance of the season. The Cardinals only shot 30.9% overall (17-of-55) and did not make any of their six three-point attempts.
Despite the poor shooting figures, Louisville ultimately was able to capitalize on Pittsburgh turnovers, scoring a total of 15 points off of 17 total turnovers. The Cardinals slowed down Pittsburgh’s star player Brianna Kiesel, who only scored two points, her lowest for the season, and left the game in the second half due to a left wrist injury.
”I knew it was going to be a slugfest,” Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said. ”I knew going into it, especially with how things were up there. They do a very good job defensively. I’m just really impressed with how they came out and guarded us.”
In contrast, the Panthers only shot 21% (13-of-62) on the day and 26.7% from three (4-of-15). Pitt did manage to have a high percentage for free throws, however, a total of 83.3% (5-of-6).
Only two Louisville players were able to put double-digits on the board. Both Sara Hammond and Shawnta Dyer each contributed 11 points. In addition, Hammond led the team with the most rebounds, a total of 13, and Dyer having eight rebounds, the team’s second highest for the game. Jude Schimmel led the team with six of the total 13 steals.
As for the Panthers, only two players managed to score double-digits. Stasha Carey and Aysia Bugg each had 10 points. Yacine Diop had the second highest amount of points, only eight, but lead the team with the most rebounds, a total of 11. Monica Wignot contributed eight rebounds, the second highest for the team.
Though Pittsburgh initially took the lead with an 8-4 run at the beginning of the first half, Louisville took over the lead after the first official TV timeout and went on a 10-0 run to the next TV timeout with 11:16 left in the first half. Pittsburgh tried to catch up after the break, with a made layup from Stasha Carey and a jumper from Brianna Kiesel to cut the Cardinal’s lead to two points with 9:22 remaining in the half. However, Louisville would not let the Panthers take over the lead.
Walking into half time, the Cardinals still had the lead, 25-18. The Panthers again came close to taking over the lead in the second half with 14:49 on the clock with a made jumper by Diop to bring the score to 28-24. Pittsburgh also had another chance with 9:54 left in the second half when another jumper from Diop cut the Cardinal’s lead to only one point, 31-30. Though the Panthers came close, Louisville never let the lead slip from them, and the Cardinals would remain in the lead for the rest of the game.
The Pittsburgh Panthers return home to face the Virginia Tech Hokies, another ACC rival, at the Petersen Events Center. Tip off will begin at 7 p.m.