Louisville trailed for the entirety of the second half, but the Cardinals forced overtime and snuck out of Pittsburgh with a 73-68 win on Tuesday Night. Louisville now sits at 14-3 and 5-1 in the ACC. Pittsburgh falls to 11-6 and 2-4.
Jordan Nwora scored 14 points with 6 rebounds for Louisville. Dwayne Sutton had 13 points and 7 rebounds with 2 blocks. David Johnson notched 11 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 20 minutes of action. Louisville shot only 38 percent from the field. The Cards connected on 12-of-25 three-point attempts.
For the Pitt Panthers, Trey McGowens led all scorers with 24 points. Justin Champagnie had 11 points and 11 boards. Pittsburgh also shot 38 percent from the field but only went 7-of-19 from deep.
Louisville struggled to get things going offensively from the jump. Pittsburgh led 26-18 late in the first half before a 10-0 Cards run made it 28-26. Pitt scored 5 straight of its own from there to make it 31-28 at half. Louisville could not cut the deficit after the break. Pitt led by as much as 7 early on and it was a back and forth affair from there.
Louisville had chances, but was unable to make shots and gain control of the game. It hovered around a 4 point lead for Pitt before a McGowens’ banked three made it 61-54 with about 2:30 remaining. After three scores and two stops, Louisville tied the game at 61 with 49.5 seconds on the clock. It remained scoreless from there before overtime.
In the extra period, Louisville raced out to its first lead since the first half. It was 70-68 when a Pittsburgh putback layup was called off because of an offensive foul with 23.7 on the clock. Malik Williams made the ensuing two free throws and the Cards held on for a tough road victory.
This was yet another close, hard to watch game for Louisville fans. The Cards continue to look for an answer offensively. Defense has rarely been the problem all season, Louisville just has not found a way to put together consistent performances on that end. David Johnson played crucial crunch time minutes alongside Fresh Kimble, and it appears that Coach Mack will be relying on those two more and more as the season goes on. Darius Perry just is not a true point guard, and the offense is better off with Johnson or Kimble as the primary ball handler.
It was frustrating to watch, but it was another game that did not end in a loss. Conference road games are tough no matter who is playing. Louisville is now tied for the conference lead after Duke’s loss at Clemson. With a poor record in signature games this season, the Cards will have their opportunity this weekend to change the narrative.
Louisville stays on the road for a Saturday Night matchup with the 3rd ranked Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game tips at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.