Louisville, KY — The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals started out slow against the Pittsburgh Panthers. But a high-octane fourth period led the Cardinals to a 73-52 win.
The Pittsburgh Panthers entered the KFC Yum! Center looking to get their first road win of the season against the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals.
Louisville’s Mariya Moore was not going to let the Panthers come away with an easy win. Moore shot 40% from the field, racking up 18-points, 4-rebounds and 3-steals.
“It comes down to confidence,” Mariya Moore told the media. “I got a lot of confidence after the Duke game. I realized that me missing and getting upset about it was only affecting myself and my team still needed me.”
The Cardinals struck first as Myisha Hines-Allen connected on a jump shot. However, a foul committed by Cortnee Walton sent Brandi Harvey-Carr to the line to hit two and tie the game at 2. However, Asia Durr fired off a three-pointer to push Louisville ahead.
Sparked by Harvey-Carr, the Panthers jumped out to a 12-7 lead. Harvey-Carr racked up a quick four points as Pittsburgh scored six unanswered points.
Harvey-Carr was instrumental for the Panthers, tallying 10 of Pitt’s 16-points midway through the first period.
The Cardinals were able to cut into the Panthers’ lead, coming within 1-point behind scoring from Jazmine Jones and Mariya Moore.
But the Panthers responded with a lay-up from Harvey-Carr and a jump-shot from Destinie Gibbs taking an 18-13 lead with 3:19 remaining in the first period.
By the end of the first period, the Cardinals locked down on defense holding the Panthers scoreless for nearly 2:23. Pittsburgh turned the ball over seven times during the drought, allowing the Cardinals to take a 19-18 lead at the end of the first period.
Despite falling behind early, Louisville’s defense forced 10 turnovers and converted the turnovers into 10-points.
The Panthers found themselves in foul trouble early as both Brenna Wise and Kauai Bradley each picked up two fouls.
Louisville’s Ciera Johnson kicked the Cardinals into gear with scoring 4 quick points to push the Cardinals ahead, 23-18, and force a Pitt timeout with 7:36 remaining in the half.
The Cardinals continued to play lockdown defense, holding the Panthers without a field goal until the 3:30 mark. Louisville was able to sprint ahead behind a 6-0 run to take a 29-20 lead.
Kalista Walters broke the Pitt scoring drought connecting on a jump-shot, but Hines-Allen countered with a jump shot of her own to put Louisville up by 10.
The Cardinals took a comfortable 34-25 lead into halftime.
The Pittsburgh offense struggled against Louisville’s defense. The Panthers turned the ball over 17 times in the first half, allowing the Cardinals to rack up 18-points off the turnovers. Louisville held Pittsburgh to only 7-points in the second period.
Hines-Allen led the Cardinals in scoring with 9-points in the first, as well as 8-rebounds, 4-steals and 2-assists.
Pitt came out of the locker room ready to roll. The Panthers outscored the Cardinals 12-4 early in the second period. Pitt was able to penetrate the Louisville defense and score 7-unanswered points to cut Louisville’s lead to 2 with 5:35 remaining in the third.
However, the momentum seemed to switch when Wise picked up her third foul sending Jones to the line to hit two. Moore followed up with a three-pointer, to put the Cardinals back up by 7.
Aysia Bugg and Bradley picked up their fourth fouls sending Briana Jones to the line twice to add another 4-points for the Cardinals.
With 1:24 remaining, the Cardinals had gone 2:40 without a field goal. The last coming from Moore at the 4:01 mark. Hines-Allen broke Louisville’s scoring drought as she drove to the bucket for two.
Moore fired off a three-pointer as time expired to put Louisville ahead 52-43.
Louisville was able to finish the game strong, outscoring Pittsburgh 21-9 in the final period.
The Cardinals did not commit a single turnover in the fourth period. Louisville stepped up offensively going 9-of-15 from the field.
Louisville sprinted out to an 8-0 lead behind Moore’s six points to take a 60-43 lead. The Cardinals, again, held the Panthers scoreless until the 6:15 mark.
Harvey-Carr broke the silence for Pitt as she drove to the bucket for two, but Louisville quickly answered as Jones fired off a jump-shot.
Louisville extended their run to 17-4 taking a 20-point lead.
Pittsburgh was unable to mount a comeback. The Cardinals overcame the Panthers in the fourth period, grabbing a 73-52 victory.
The Cardinals finished the game with 14-assists on 25 made field goals and 5 made three-pointers. The Cardinals’ defense forced 24-turnovers and converted the turnovers into 27-points. Meanwhile, Louisville only turned the ball over 6-times, a stat that pleased head coach Jeff Walz.
“It’s always a good thing when you know what color jersey you’re wearing. We just threw it to the people in white,” Coach Jeff Walz told the media. “The bakery was shut down today. Which was very nice. We weren’t passing out those turnovers.”
The Cardinals had four players post double-figures: Mariya Moore paced the Cardinals with 18-points. Moore connected on a team-best 3 three-pointers, while also grabbing 4-rebounds and 3-steals. Jazmine Jones tallied 13-points of 5-of-8 shooting. Both Ciera Johnson and Myisha Hines-Allen added 11-points apiece. Hines-Allen stuffed the stat sheet grabbing 11-points, 9-rebounds, 4-steals and 2-assists in 19 minutes played.
For the Panthers, Brandi Harvey-Carr led the way with a game-high 25-points. Harvey-Carr connected on 10-of-16 from the field.
The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals will fly south to face a daunting opponent; the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles. The top 10 matchup is on Thursday.