By Beau Kilpatrick—
The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals set a new ACC road win record in their 106-51 victory over the Pitt Panthers. No other ACC team has won by 55 points on the road and this game ties third in the ACC for largest margin of victory.
These two teams faced each other less than two weeks ago on January 11. Louisville blew a 26-point lead, due to Pitt’s Jamel Artis scoring 43 points, but still won by five points. This was not the case here.
The Cardinals are a defense first team and their defense against Pitt was phenomenal. However, it was the incredible offense that stood out as Card fans watched their team deflate and trample the Panthers on their own court.
Louisville shot over 58 percent from the floor, including an unprecedented 54.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. The Cards also outscored the Panthers 58-12 in the paint.
For more of Louisville’s records: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/lou/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_non_event/mbb-1213-mg-sec8.pdf
The game got so out of hand in favor of the Cardinals that Pittsburgh’s head coach Kevin Stallings was ejected from the game in the second half for a double technical foul. Louisville was producing like a machine, leading 68-27, when Stallings got into a verbal confrontation with the referees that ended with him being escorted off the court.
More on the technical fouls: http://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2017/01/25/stallings-55-point-loss-embarrassing-unacceptable/
Donovan Mitchell had a fantastic game, leading all scorers with 29 points. He made 9-13 from the field and 6-8 from three-point range. Simply put, Mitchell was on fire.
Tony Hicks has been a valuable asset in filling the role of the injured Snider, contributing 10 points and four assists against Pitt. However, Hicks received some bad news after the game. During a scramble for the ball in the first half, Hicks injured his hand. You could see that his fingers were taped in the second half. After the game, it was determined that he had broken a bone in his hand. He has a spiral fracture that will keep him off the court for the next 6-8 weeks. Coach Rick Pitino praised the efforts of Hicks after the game.
“Tony was just fitting in at the point position and has made great progress…We will keep him in great condition and hope we make a long run in the tournament so he can play in his first NCAA Tournament,” said Pitino.
Ryan McMahon has seen increased playing time due to the injury of Quentin Snider and took full advantage of the opportunity. McMahon made 5-7 of his three-point jumpers, giving him 15 points for the game. His playing time will increase further with the newest injury to Hicks. Deng Adel had another average night with 10 points, a steal, and three assists.
Anas Mahmoud had a great game, even though he didn’t play much in the second half because of the impressive lead. Mahmoud scored 14 points, had two steals and two blocks. Mangok Mathiang has stringed together a few good games in a row and put up nine points and nine rebounds. But it was Jaylen Johnson that grabbed the most boards with 11 rebounds. Johnson also contributed nine points to the Pitt stomping.
The Cardinals were unstoppable. Everything went right; shots were going in, defense was suffocating, and it seemed that U of L had the ball for the entire game. Louisville had 48 rebounds (Pitt had 26) and the Cards dominated every single statistic category. If Rick Pitino can keep up this type of production for the remainder of the season, the Cards will be a ferocious competitor in the ACC tournament and March Madness.
Louisville’s next game will be at home against the NC State Wolfpack. NC State is coming off of a thrilling win at No. 17 Duke and could create matchup problems for the Cardinals.
The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals will host the NC State Wolfpack at the KFC! YUM Center for a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee. The game will be broadcasted at 1 p.m. on the local WAVE3 station (TWC/Spectrum channel 6).
As always, GO CARDS!! #L1C4!!