Pittsburgh, PA — The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals cruised to a 77-51 win over the Pitt Panthers behind a huge fourth quarter on Thursday night.
The Cardinals, coming off a 100 - 67 victory over Notre Dame, had a week off to prepare for the matchup with Pitt. However, the first period was sluggish for Louisville.
The Cardinals struggled to score, hitting only 8 of its 18 shots. Despite the high-volume shooting, Louisville was able to perform on defense converting nine Panther turnovers into 12 points. The Cardinals also held Pitt to only six made field goals.
However, the Panther’s ended the first period on a 6-0 run behind Alayna Gribble’s two three-pointers. Louisville held a 20-16 advantage into the second.
Louisville began to heat up behind sophomore Sydney Zambrotta’s back-to-back triples. The Cardinals were able to jump out to a 28-22 lead.
But, Pitt’s Yacine Diop was unstoppable. The redshirt junior scored all 15 of the Panther’s second period points — Louisville had no answer for the forward.
The Panthers were not letting the Cardinals out of reach. At the half, Louisville only held a 35-31 lead.
It is unclear what Louisville head coach Jeff Walz told to the Cardinals during halftime, but the second half saw a different Louisville team.
The Cardinals came out hot on a 6-0 run to take a 12 point advantage. But, Diop and Kalista Walters charged back for the Panthers. The duo combined for all 12 of Pitt’s third period points.
Going into the fourth period, Louisville led, 53-43.
However, behind sophomore Bianca Dunham, Louisville caught fire. Dunham scored the first six Louisville points in the fourth. Her spark led the Cardinals to an 18-0 run to take a significant lead over the Panthers. Louisville held Pitt scoreless for the first five minutes.
Gribble broke the drought for the Panthers, but Pitt was only able to notch eight points to Louisville’s 24.
The Cardinals are now 20-0 after defeating Pitt, 77-51.
Louisville had four players notch double figures: Myisha Hines-Allen led the Cardinals with 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Sam Fuehring and Arica Carter each added 12 points, while Bianca Dunham racked up 10.
For the Panthers, two players grabbed double-digits: Yacine Diop paced all players with 26 points on 50% shooting, while Kalista Walters notched a double-double on 10 points and 10 boards.
The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals return home to face the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles on Sunday, January 21st at 5 PM EST.
The Pitt Panthers travel to Syracuse to face the Orange on Sunday, January 21st at 2 PM EST.