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    Louisville Basketball Throttles Pittsburgh 80-68 Thanks To Rozier and Jones
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    When the tenth ranked University of Louisville basketball Cardinals (16-3, 4-2 ACC) traveled to Pittsburgh (13-7, 3-4) there were plenty of aspects of their game they needed to address. Top 10 teams have a tough time playing at Pitt, only losing one before Sunday, since they’ve opened their new arena. The Cards would be the second, winning 80-68

    Cardinal head coach Rick Pitino said that he’s pleased with the win-loss record, which puts fan in a bit of a tizzy. You mean we won’t go undefeated?

    The offense needed to wake up with players putting the ball in the bucket. Correction, players not named Rozier or Jones. The Cardinal guards are as good as any in the NCAA and can take over games, but the rock needed to fall from all over the court. While that didn’t happen much, the shortest guys on the court had a field day.

    Much ballyhoo was made with the announcement that Montrezl Harrell had removed himself as a team captain because he was too hard on the younger players. Fans should probably take heart because that signals that the junior All-American has as much competitive fire as always. His scoring has been down since the Western Kentucky scuffle so getting him going would be important as well. His first bucket put him over 1000 points for the college career. He would finish the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

    By the first television time out, Louisville was shooting a torrid 88% but wasn’t all that stellar on the boards. Terry Rozier put in 11 by that point to keep his starring role on offense. He would finish the half with a blistering 18 points. For the game, he put in 26. Still no significant scoring from the bench.

    Pittsburgh didn’t exactly give the Cards anything. The Panthers were able to keep up nearly score for score. That is, until Louisville went on a 12-2 run to break it open right before the end of the first half. That led them into the break with a 40-30 lead.

    To start the second half, Rozier went down with an injury on an uncalled but obvious foul which had the Panthers fans cheering while the Cardinal guard writhed in pain on the deck. Classy. Rozier, being the tough kid he is, stayed in the game despite the near-decapitation.

    Louisville still couldn’t get it together on their own side of the court, though, and Pittsburgh clawed back into the game. A thunderous Harrell dunk started the Cardinal scoring in the second half, but it took 5 minutes to get a UofL deuce.

    Through the middle of the second half, the Cards settled down. They had to weather the Panther storm, but went back to their game plan.

    A lot of that game plan went through Chris Jones. Pitt couldn’t find a way to deal with his dribble penetration move. His drive gave him a chance to dish. When he didn’t dish, he was completing the shot and drawing fouls at the rack. He did get a technical foul called after a series of calls that he didn’t agree with. He finished the game with 17.

    Louisville also dominated in the lane, going 40-18 vs the Panthers.

    Louisville lost their most experienced player late when Wayne Blackshear fouled out after scoring 6 points. From there, Pitt closed the margin to 8 points. That would be as close as they got.

    Photo by: Tim Girton/Louisville.com

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    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at Louisville.com and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

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