Pitt Falls Short In a 73-68 OT Loss to Louisville

[Pittsburgh,Pa] So Close; Leading by 6 with over 2 minutes to play, the Pitt Panthers basketball team was about to pull of an upset over the 11th ranked Ranked Louisville Cardinals, but unfortunately things didn’t bounce their way the rest of regulation, or in overtime where the Panthers lost 73-68 in front of a stunned Petersen Events Center Crowd who was 100% behind their team.

“First of all, I’m proud of our guys, I thought we fought.” Said Pitt head coach Jeff Capel “We put ourselves in a position to win. Congrats to Louisville, they made some tough plays down thestretch. Lamarr Kimble stepped up and made a huge three, Dwayne Sutton made a huge three in the corner in overtime. They stepped up and made some free throws and got time to stop. Again, proud of our guys, I thought we fought. We played one of the better teams in the country and had
a chance to win in regulation and put ourselves in a position to have a chance in overtime. Unfortunately, we came up short.”

Pitt Head Mens’ Basketball Coach Jeff Capel (Photo Credit: Brian Cook-Golden Sky Media)

Unlike their first game December 7 th in which they fell to Louisville 64-46, the Panthers
outplayed the Cardinals most of the game and led 31-28 at halftime. They then led for 16
minutes in the second half, but in those final 2 minutes, the Panthers had problems putting the ball in the basket, meanwhile the Cardinals went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 61.

Pitt’s Trey McGowens attempted a 3-point basket, but it bounced of the rim as time expired.Unfortunately, the Panthers couldn’t keep it going like they wanted to in overtime. Travel calls and fouls paved the way for the Cardinals to take the lead that they would never relinquish, even though Pitt has got the score to 70-68, and almost 70-70 with 21 seconds left when Terrell Brown tipped the ball into basket. But the officials didn’t see it that way. Instead, they called no basket, a pushing foul on Brown which caused him to foul out and sent the Cardinals to the line to extend their lead.

Pitt Panther Center Terrell Brown exciting the Fans with a Slam (Photo: Credit Vince Butts-UMT Sports)

Capel, the Panthers and the home crowd wasn’t happy with the foul call, but Capel refused to
talk about it. “I’m not commenting on any call, anything that an official made. I can’t. I don’t want to lose money.”

However, Capel did have this to say about what didn’t work: “Well I thought we had some
where we gave up middle penetration, Dwayne Sutton’s three came off a middle drive, we talked about keeping guys out of the paint, that’s one. “When we went zone, we left Ryan McMahon, when we came up to try to get a trap, we left McMahon. That’s not smart and he made us pay. A couple of others, we were in the zone and we gave up middle penetration and gave up a basket. It’s those breakdowns of not getting the rebound and giving them an extra play.”

Louisville junior Jordan Nwora was limited by Pitt’s defense, leading the Cardinals with 14
points, which tied for his second-smallest output of the season.

Trey McGowens totaled a game-high 24 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Justin Champagnie recorded his third double-double of the season with points and 11 rebounds, while Xavier Johnson tallied 11 points and had team bests in assists and steals with five and three, respectively.

Now the Panthers must shake this off and prepare for a rematch with North Carolina Saturday at Noon. The Panthers beat the Tar Heels, 73-65 in North Carolina on Jan. 8.

“I think we’re getting better.” Said Capel “We have showed some signs but we’re striving to
become consistently. And that’s what we haven’t done.”

 


Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com
Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

www.PittsburghPanthers.com

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