Hinson’s 41 leads Pitt Past Louisville 86-59

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Hinson drives to the hoop past a Louisville defender (2/17/24). Credit: Vince Butts/UMT

By Ray Porter Jr.

PITTSBURGH–Blake Hinson’s career-high 41 points helped the Pitt Panthers defeat the Louisville Cardinals 86-59 in front of a packed house at the Petersen Events Center.

“I’m really proud of our guys. This was a game that I was concerned about because of what we just did in the previous game against Virginia,” said Pitt head coach Jeff Capel. “We had played these guys a few weeks ago and had done well. When I knew two guys weren’t starting, I was even more concerned for a letdown. I thought our guys came out and I thought we played really well.”

Hinson’s 41 points is the most scored by a Panther at their home arena, it tied the program record (his own) for threes in a game and ties for third-most points by a Panther in a single game. He is also the first Pitt player since Jamel Artis (43) on 1/11/2017 (also at Louisville) Hinson’s   masterpiece of a game included 9-three pointers and Reached 1,000 career points on a driving layup with 7:03 remaining in the first half and reached the 1,000-point mark in the fourth fewest games by a player in program history.

“Blake was unbelievable. I thought he was incredibly efficient,” remarked Capel. “I have learned with Blake, and I learned this last year, he has the freedom to take bad shots at times, because it is something that can get him going. I understand that about him. It is something that he’s earned because it could be the one thing that gets him going. I’ll tell him if it’s a bad shot, but he’s earned the right to have that freedom. I don’t know if I’ve had anyone while I’ve been a head coach that shoots threes like him.”

In addition to Hinson, Jaland Lowe (10), and Ishmael Legget (10) also scored in double-figures. The trio combined for 61 of the Panthers 86 points and 13 of the team’s 15 made three‐pointers.

“I thought the second half we got into more of a rhythm offensively, collectively as a group,” said Capel. “Zack made some incredible hustle plays and I thought his defense in the second half was outstanding. I thought he just made some incredible hustle plays for us. For us to have 22 assists today was really good. It shows that we were sharing the basketball and again, I can’t say enough about what Blake was able to do.”

On defense, the Panthers won the rebounding battle 36‐27, including 12‐2 in offensive rebounds, to improve to 14‐2 on the season when outrebounding the opposition. Pitt held Louisville to just 8.3 percent (1‐of‐12) shooting from behind the arc in the game, including 0‐of‐4 in the second half and have held twelve opponents this season to below 30 percent shooting from behind the arc. Pitt also finished with three total turnovers, tied for the least amount in a game in program history.

With the win, the Panthers improved to 17‐8 on the season and 8‐6 in ACC play with an 85‐59 win over Louisville at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won five straight games, and seven of their last eight and they moved up to fourth in the ACC standings and have won its fifth straight contest against Louisville. The Panthers performance continues to indicate that they belong in the NCAA Tournament.

Capel On the passing of Lefty Driesell: “He was an unbelievable guy. I’ve known him since I was a player at Duke because I would see him in the pictures in the hallway when he played there and I think he got his start there coaching with Coach Daly, Chuck Daly. I got to know him since then. When he was at James Madison, my father was at Old Dominion, so they were in the league together. He always had incredible things to say about my dad. And then when I got into coaching, he was always a guy that was a soundboard. He was one of the funniest human beings. He was an unbelievable coach. I’m really glad that he was able to get into the Hall of Fame while he was still alive so that he could get up there and speak and be Lefty. Everyone was laughing and he was just a joy to be around.”

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