When Louisville WBB came storming out of the gate tonight against Pitt and easily took a 6-0 lead It looked like it might be a cakewalk against a team who is winless in ACC play at home. But as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend." Panther's Coach Suzie McConnell called a timeout at 8:34 to stop the run, and Pitt rose to the challenge. In fact, the Panthers ended the quarter with a 22-21 lead over the Cardinals.
In the 2nd quarter the Cards started to push the pace a little. The passes were sharper and the shots started falling. They ended the half on a 17-5 run hitting 5 straight shots which prompted an ESPN commentator to say that Pitt needed to get into the locker room and regroup because the game could easily get out of hand. The Cards held a respectable 40-29 at halftime.
In the second half Pitt used a 2-3 zone to slow down Louisville and the Cards looked totally out of sync. Several trips on Louisville's end of the floor yielded nothing but shot clock violations and empty possessions. Pitt cut the lead to 10, and it looked like momentum might be swinging in the home team's direction. However, after a timeout Louisville started making a concerted effort to get the ball down low, and Pitt could not stop Myisha Hines-Allen. She was making everything from 10 foot jumpers to layups off of smooth little drop step moves and ended the quarter responsible for 13 of Louisville's 18 points.
Still, a few minutes into the 4th quarter with the Cards up 64-53 I wrote in my notes "Pitt won't go away!" Then...just like that...Pitt went away. It seemed like before the ink could even dry on the page the score was somehow 76-55. Pitt played hard but they had no answer for Louisville's interior game. When Coach Walz took Myisha out of the game with 2:58 to go she had a career-high 29 points off 12-17 shooting. Courtnee Walton also had her own career-high of 18 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. The final score was 84-61.
I can't conclude without mentioning that throughout the telecast I had a nagging feeling that I'd heard these commentators before. Per ESPN Jeff Hathhorn and Meg Bulger were calling the game but those names didn't ring any bells. Then I saw this tweet:
Live shot of the Louisville game commentators for WBBall. pic.twitter.com/4u0CLArNvc— Tammaland (@Tammaland) February 12, 2016
Hashtag: Nailed it.
Next up Louisville plays USF at home. The game is at 9pm (Coach Walz said to bring the kids in their PJsâno word on if the same policy applies to adults) and will be shown on ESPN 2. The game is being promoted as a Red Out and the first 2,500 fans will receive red light-up bracelets upon entering the arena.