And just as the Cardinals quarterfinal win over the Mountaineers was a rollar-coaster ride, so was Saturday's match-up against the third-seeded Panthers. U of L, which defeated Pittsburgh by 13 last month, came up short in their second meeting, falling 65-59.
Louisville (23-9) was able to draw early fouls on Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray, but it seemed unable to use the 1st Team All-Big East selection's time on the bench to it's advantage for much of the first half. Holding just a one-point lead with 2:29 remaining in the first half, the Cardinals closed the first 20 minutes of play on a 10-0 run for a 37-26 advantage at the break.
Terrence Williams had five of the Cardinals' 10 points during the run. Panther center Aaron Gray played only four minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. With Gray on the sidelines for most of the first half, Louisville out-rebounded Pitt 25-12.
Pittsburgh, which is making it's sixth trip to the league championship in the last seven seasons, began the second half with a flurry, outscoring Louisville 10-0 during the opening three minutes to take a 39-37 lead.
The Panthers offensive flurry developed into a 22-4 run and 48-41 advantage with 12:35 to play. An Edgar Sosa three-pointer pulled Louisville within one at the 6:54 mark, but the Cardinals were never able to retake the lead.
Williams led Louisville with 18 points, 7 rebounds and a game-high 9 assists. Freshman Earl Clark totaled a career-high 12 rebounds. The Cardinals shot 38.7% from the field and hit just 8 of 28 three-point attempts. While the Panthers overcame foul trouble to their big men, they dominated from the charity stripe, outscoring the Cardinals by 17 from the free throw line.
|1||Terrence Williams||19.5||8.0||Totaled 13 assists; 4-of-12 3-ptrs.|
|4||David Padgett||12.0||6.0||Career best 5 assists against WVU; 4 blocks|
|5||Earl Clark||11.5||10.5||Started both games for injured Juan Palacios|
|10||Edgar Sosa||8.5||4.0||5-of-19 from the floor|
|11||Brandon Jenkins||5.5||1.5||Scoreless in 13 minutes against Pitt|
|15||Perrin Johnson||2.5||0.0||Played for a combined 24 minutes.|
|20||Will Scott||1.5||0.5||1-of-6 three-pointers|
|32||Derrick Caracter||2.5||2.5||Had 4 turnovers against Pitt|
|33||Andre McGee||3.0||2.0||2-of-9 from the floor; 3 assists|
|34||Jerry Smith||4.0||1.5||Totaled four assists|
|43||Terrance Farley||0.0||0.5||Played a total of four minutes|