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Loss doesn't linger for Cardinals, soar past Panthers

Pittsburgh started off the game ready to battle their ranked, visiting opponents from Louisville. The Cards clamped down on defense though and built a lead that the Panthers could not come back from. A high number of fouls kept the game hard for Pitt as well with three starters not being able to be as aggressive.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH, PA. - The Cardinals flew past the Pittsburgh Panthers Thursday night in an ACC matchup by a score of 84-61.

No. 12 Louisville came out of the gate determined to get a win after No. 3 Notre Dame snapped their 15-game winning streak last Sunday. The Cardinals showed in a strong performance why they are second in the ACC.

What seemed to be a close battle during the first quarter, the Panthers lost their narrow lead in the second quarter. After marking only seven points in the quarter and getting foul trouble in the second quarter, Pitt never recovered from trailing the Cardinals. They walked into halftime down, 29-40.

"They were up 22-21 in the first period," said Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz, "but we were able to get some of their key players in foul trouble early."

"In spurts, we battled. In the first quarter, we handled their pressure well," said Pitt Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio about what went wrong. "But whether it is foul trouble or fatigue, it changes the whole complexion of the team."

Cardinal freshman Cortnee Walton put up a double-double tonight, with a third of her points coming from the first 90 seconds of the game. 

"She is relentless on the offensive glass," Walz said. "She got two or three fouls just trying to go to the offensive glass. But she’s hard to box out. She never quits."

McConnell-Serio added that even though Cardinals were very physical tonight, she said the team prepared as much as they could during the week the Panthers had off.

"We knew coming in Louisville was really good inside. Especially with Myisha [Hines-Allen] and Mariah Moore on the perimeter," McConnell-Serio said. "Even though they are very young they are very experienced."

Louisville forward Myisha Hines-Allen also had a big night putting up a whopping 29 points and eight rebounds on the board.

Panthers forward Stasha Carey added 21 points and five rebounds for the night. That’s more than the second and fourth quarters in points combined.

"We have had multiple games where we have come close, or we were two points away," Carey said. "I think finishing the game will be something we hope to work on and accomplish."

The Panthers will be on a two-game ACC road trip starting this weekend. They will be at Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon and at North Carolina next week. The teams will rematch in a regular season finale in Kentucky on February 28, 2016.