Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Louisville Hands Pittsburgh Worst Loss in 111 Years
By WILL GRAVESPITTSBURGH (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 27 points, Anas Mahmoud added 14 while making all seven of his shots and No. 13 Louisville overwhelmed Pittsburgh 106-51 on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (17-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) rebounded from a close loss at No. 10 Florida State on Saturday by handing the reeling Panthers the second-worst loss in the program’s 111-year history.
Louisville held Pitt (12-8, 1-6) to 25 percent shooting (13 of 51) and never let the Panthers in the game. Pitt went without a basket for more than 12 minutes during the first half as the Cardinals built a 37-13 lead and kept pouring it on.
“That’s about as disappointing of a performance as I could possible imagine,” head coach Kevin Stallings said after the loss. “It’s embarrassing. It’s unacceptable. It’s my responsibility to have them prepared to play better than that, harder than that, smarter than that.”
Michael Young led Pitt with 12 points but the Panthers showed little life despite having a week to prepare. Coach Kevin Stallings didn’t stick around to watch the carnage. Stallings was ejected with just under 15 minutes to go after arguing with officials.
The Cardinals fought gamely while falling on the road against the Seminoles despite missing guard Quentin Snider, who is out with a strained hip flexor. They didn’t need to work nearly as hard this time around. Less than two weeks after surviving a 43-point onslaught from Pitt forward Jamel Artis in an 85-80 victory at home against the Panthers, Louisville kept Artis in check. The senior forward was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, his lowest total of the season and 13 points below his season average.
There were no such offensive issues for the Panthers. Louisville’s guards had no trouble beating the Panthers off the dribble to work the ball inside to Mahmoud and Deng Adel. The Cardinals outscored Pitt in the paint 52-12, outrebounded the Panthers 48-26 and poured it on long after things had been decided. Louisville was pressing up 36 points in the second half and didn’t slow down even as coach Rick Pitino emptied his bench.
The result was Pitt’s worst loss since falling to Westminster College 106-13 in 1905, the year the basketball program started. The Panthers suffered their worst loss in the 13-year history of the Petersen Events Center earlier this month when Miami beat them by 26. The Cardinals doubled it easily.
BIG PICTURELouisville: When Mahmoud stays out of foul trouble, he can be effective. Limited to just 5 minutes because of foul trouble against Florida State, the 7-foot junior still picked up three fouls in 16 minutes against the Panthers but by then he had already done all the damage necessary against Pitt’s undersized front court.
Pitt: Stallings questioned the leadership of his four senior starters in the run-up to the game, and the Panthers responded by flat lining. It’s certainly not the way he envisioned his first season with the Panthers going. Just as troubling? The sea of empty seats at the usually packed Petersen Events Center, something that never would have happened when the programs traded haymakers in the old Big East.
UP NEXTLouisville: returns home to welcome N.C. State on Sunday.
Pitt: hosts Clemson on Saturday before a three-game trip that includes visits to No. 9 North Carolina and No. 17 Duke.
(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.