Pittsburgh, PA- The Cards visited the steel city Wednesday night to do battle with a scrappy Pitt Panthers team. Pitt, who was beat convincingly by Louisville 59-41 last month, had revenge on their mind. Their student section brought the mental intimidation by throwing dollar bills in the air with the face of Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino on them. This action was a form of mockery to the self-imposed post-season ban Louisville inflicted on themselves earlier this month due to the Katina Powell scandal.
On the court, it was a tight first half that gave the Cards a 4 point advantage at halftime. Ryan Luther was the star of the night for Pitt, finishing with a career high 17 points, but it was not enough to overcome the determined mindset of Louisville. To start the second half, coach Pitino had senior transfer guard Trey Lewis on the bench. The beginning of the second half was more of the same from the first as both teams exchanged baskets until the 5 minute mark in the second half.
The unlikely hero for the Cards was David Levitch, a former walk on who finished with 8 points and hit a pair of three pointers, one of those coming with 2:34 remaining that gave the Cards a comfortable lead nearing the end of the game. Along with the outstanding performance of Levitch, junior Quentin Snider registered 14 points and senior guard Damion Lee had 13 of his own.
Along with the leadership of Ryan Luther for Pitt, Jamel Artis finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds. With the loss, Pitt falls to 0-9 vs ranked teams this season.
The Cards went 7-16 from three point range, 6 of those 7 makes coming in the second half. The battle in the paint was tight, but Louisville outscored Pitt 30-26 along with forcing the Panthers to commit 15 turnovers.
Another big game awaits the Cards in Coral Gables, Florida this Saturday when they travel down for a matchup with 12th ranked Miami. The Cards and Hurricanes are currently tied for second in the ACC, meaning this game will have high implications on the ACC regular season title. North Carolina currently has control of the ACC, but the Tar Heels have a matchup with 3rd ranked Virginia. With a Tar Heel loss, either Louisville or Miami will be tied for first in the ACC. Louisville vs Miami will tipoff at 2 PM. The game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network and WHAS-TV.