UofL BASKETBALL | Cards crush Pitt with stellar defense
01/14/2016 11:03 PM
In a hard fought game, reminiscent of the “old Big East” that Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino regularly refers to, the number 21 ranked Cardinals suffocated 20th Pittsburgh, holding the Panthers’ offense to just 41 points. The Cards grabbed their third win in the ACC, taking down Pitt 59-41 and improving their record to 14-3 this season, 3-1 in conference.
Yes, you read that correctly, that was in fact the final score. Both Pitt and U of L entered the Yum! Center averaging over 80 points per game, but a defensive power struggle limited each side to season low point totals. In their most well rounded defensive performance of the year, the Cards forced 19 Pitt turnovers, and limited the Panthers to 29 percent shooting and just 1-of-11 from three point range. The Pittsburgh shooting troubles even carried over to the free throw line. After entering the game with the nation’s best free throw percentage, the Panthers shot just 60 percent in Thursday’s game, compared to the Louisville’s 84 percent.
Damion Lee and Chinanu Onuaku combined for well over half of Louisville’s points, scoring 18 points a piece. Onuaku nearly logged a double double in the first half, and ultimately finished with 10 rebounds to go with his 18 points.
Lee led the team with four steals, and tied freshman Donovan Mitchell for second highest rebound rebound total with five. Meanwhile fellow fifth year guard Trey Lewis was shut out. You think he’s upset about getting a goose egg? Think again.
This was U of L’s first win over a ranked opponent this season. Rick Pitino’s team now has nearly a week off to prepare for Florida State who come to town next Wednesday.