No. 15 Panthers withstand Louisville in Big East tourney
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Carl Krauser had 19 points and seven rebounds
as 15th-ranked Pittsburgh held on to defeat Louisville, 61-56, in the first
round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Aaron Gray added 14 points and 13 boards for the sixth-seeded Panthers (22-6),
who will next face third-seeded West Virginia Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Taquan Dean had 15 points and Terrence Williams had 11 points and eight boards
for the Cardinals (18-12), who trailed by as many as 28 points before making a
game of it in the second half.
Pitt scored the first 16 points of the game and extended to its largest lead,
35-7, on a Krauser layup with just over four minutes remaining in the opening
“When you are up by that much you’ve got to understand that there is a lot of
time left and you don’t want to go out there and think the game is over,”
Krauser had 13 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes, as the
Panthers led 39-16 at the break.
Pitt shot a blistering 50 percent from the field in the first half, but went
the opposite way in the second.
On the other hand, the Cardinals picked up the pace over the final 20 minutes
to make it interesting down the stretch. Louisville shot only 5-of-24 in the
first half, but turned it up a bit over the final 12-plus minutes of the game.
Down 47-22 with 12:43 remaining, Williams began a 16-1 run with a dunk. He
also ended the surge with a jumper at the 5:41 mark to draw the Cardinals
Later, a 6-2 run by Louisville got the team within single-digits, 53-44, for
the first time since the opening minutes. Dean had four points during the
run, ending it with a pair of free throws with 1:44 left.
Then with 23 seconds left, Dean drained a three-pointer to make it a one-
possession game at 57-54. However, Louisville never had possession of the ball
with a chance to tie or go ahead.
“If we took care of the basketball a little bit, we actually could have won
the game,” Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said.
Louisville hit 13-of-29 second-half buckets compared to just 4-of-20 from
Pitt ended a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in five
games…Louisville has dropped two in a row and four of six overall…Pitt
split the two-game regular-season series with West Virginia…Pitt shot 38
percent for the game..Louisville hit 34 percent of its field goal attempts.