Thursday, February 12, 2015

No. 9 Louisville Uses Huge Run to Put Pittsburgh Away for 20th Win

(9) Louisville 69
Pittsburgh 56

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by UL

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Other than jumping out to a 29-0 lead against Savannah State earlier this season, No. 9 Louisville has rarely overwhelmed opponents with the game-changing effort on both ends of the floor.

That changed Wednesday night as junior forward Montrezl Harrell had 28 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, many of them during the Cardinals' 22-2 second half flurry that helped Louisville beat Pittsburgh 69-56.

Strong shooting positioned the Panthers to take control with a 45-39 lead before the Cardinals (20-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) answered with an energetic 14-1 run including several baskets set up by their trademark pressure defense. Harrell was in the mix on both ends with blocked shots, rebounds and a couple of steals along with momentum-shifting dunks.

Louisville held Pitt (16-9, 5-6) to just two late field goals in the final 1:33 to break it open and complete a season sweep. The Cardinals struggled for about the same length of time during Saturday's loss at No. 3 Virginia.

"We made our press a factor," said Harrell, who played the entire game. "We started pressing the right way. We started making extra rotations. We started making them speed up their offense and running all different things they didn't want to run."

Terry Rozier scored 18 of his 22 points after halftime for the Cardinals, who shot 47 percent and outrebounded the Panthers 39-29.

Michael Young had 16 points and Jamel Artis 15 for Pitt, but neither were factors down the stretch thanks to Louisville's defense, which eventually held the Panthers to 38-percent shooting en route to ending their three-game winning streak.

"I wouldn't say it was intimidation," Panthers forward Sheldon Jeter said. "I would just say - scratch that. I would say it was intimidation."

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