Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Blow Lead, Big Chance Opportunity for Signature Victory Fizzles out as No. 11 Cardinals Keep Dominating Series Louisville 67, Pitt 60

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Blow Lead, Big Chance Opportunity for Signature Victory Fizzles out as No. 11 Cardinals Keep Dominating Series Louisville 67, Pitt 60

Article excerpt

No. 11 Louisville doesn't have much to play for, as the Cardinals are not eligible for the ACC or NCAA tournament because of a self- imposed postseason ban.

But that doesn't mean the Cardinals don't have anything to play for, as they still have an outside shot to win at least a share of the ACC regular-season title.

Wednesday, the Cardinals cleared yet one more obstacle on the road to that championship as they came from behind to beat Pitt, 67- 60, in front of a packed house at Petersen Events Center.

Although this game was much tougher for the Cardinals than the first time these two teams met -Louisville beat Pitt, 59-41, Jan. 14 at KFC Yum! Center -it was a continuation of their dominance against the Panthers.

Louisville has won eight games in a row against Pitt, improved to 5-1 at Petersen Events Center and coach Rick Pitino improved to 11- 5 against the Panthers as Louisville's coach.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said that while the Cardinals have indeed gotten the better of the Panthers in recent years, this particular game was more about his team's inability to get stops down the stretch than any particular matchup issues.

"This one was different [than the previous losses]," Dixon said. "You have an eight-point lead, they have been good, but we have been good. Early on, the first few times, we beat them, but lately they are beating us. They have good players, but this game had nothing to do with the past.

"We've never been in a situation where we had an eight-point lead and let it slip away. They have good interior size, their [post players] are good, but we had some good looks that we didn't knock down."

Pitt (19-8, 8-7) led, 48-40, with 9:11 to play after a jump shot in the lane by Chris Jones that brought the crowd to its feet and forced a timeout by Pitino.

But Cardinals senior Damion Lee made a 3-pointer on the next possession that sparked an 18-10 Louisville run and the score was tied at 58-58 with 3:14 to play

That's when little-used former walk-on guard David Levitch stepped up and hit the biggest shot of the game as he buried a 3- pointer from the wing with 2:34 left that put the Cardinals (22-6, 11-4) ahead, 61-58. …

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