Pitt beats Louisville By 12 Points

Femi Odukale
Pitt Guard Femi Odukale (#2) loses the ball in the Panthers win over Louisville (Photo Credit Vince Butts-UMT Sports)

                                       Pitt Upsets Louisville 65-53

PITTSBURGH, Pa-The Pitt Panthers Basketball team has fought hard all season. They would start strong against their opponents, but unfortunately the results did not show up on scoreboard as they have fallen victim to 2 and 3-point losses. But on Saturday, they were finally able to finish what they started as they pulled off a huge upset by beating the 10-6 Louisville Cardinals 65-53 at the Petersen Events Center.

“First and foremost, I’m really proud of our guys. That was a big-time response from our game the other day. I thought we fought for 40 minutes.” Said Pitt head coach Jeff Capel “I thought we were incredible together. I thought we were tough, and I thought we executed some really outstanding performances.”

Pitts’ Jamarius Burton (#11) goes up for a shot attempt in the Panthers win over Louisville ( Photo Credit : Vince Butts-UMT Sports )

Jamarius Burton led the Panthers with 20 points, John Hugley added 19 and 7 rebounds, Mouhamadou Gueye and Femi Odukale each added 10 as the Panthers improved to 7-10 on the season and won their 2nd ACC game of the season. Gueye led with 8 rebounds as the Panthers outrebounded the Cardinals 41-32. The Panthers were looking for a better performance after a disappointing loss at Syracuse and their mission was accomplished.

“We were disappointed in our performance in our last game, everyone was. We didn’t have the fight that we’ve had the majority of the season.” Said Capel “When we couldn’t score the first nine and a half minutes at Syracuse, we allowed that to affect everything, especially our defense. We talked about it, we showed it to them, and we had some really good practices leading up to this. And again, the thing that I’ve said about this team that I admire, I really do and it’s not just coach speak, they’ve shown up, man.”

Pitt recorded the first double-digit win of the season as their 12-point victory over Louisville is largest over Louisville in the series history. The Panthers also snapped a five-game losing skid against Louisville and topped the Cardinals for the second time under head coach Jeff Capel. Once the Panthers took a 25-24 lead, they did not trail the rest of the game.

Pitt Coach Capel watches the action in the 1st half (Photo Credit Vince Butts-UMT Sports )

“I thought Jamarius [Burton] maybe had his best game he’s played here. He was strong in how he played, but also in how he looked out there and I thought that we fed off of that.” Said Capel “And again, John [Hugley] in the second half, able to get the ball down inside to him, him being able to play through contact. Really proud. Will [Jeffress] got a huge offensive rebound and was able to go and get fouled and get to the line and make a free throw.”

The Panthers Led by as many as 16 points in the second half and held Louisville to 33.3 percent (19-of-57) shooting from the field, second lowest mark by an opponent this season. The Cardinals were just 7-of-28 (.250) from three-point range.

Pitt F John Hugley shoots in the 1st half of the Panthers 12 Point win Over Louisville (Photo Credit : Vince Butts-UMT Sports)

The Panthers will now prepare for another rematch as they host the Virginia Cavaliers (10-4, 4-2 ACC) a team in which they came close to upsetting before falling 57-56 on December 3rd. The Panthers will enjoy this victory, but Capel knows it will eventually be time to get back to work.

“So, again, proud of our guys, big time response and hopefully this is something we can build on.” Said Capel “We were able to score again, we got fouled, we stepped up and made free throws and so, again, we built on it today. Now we have to move forward and build on it when we get back together on Monday.”

Ray Porter Jr July 2021

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