- Associated Press - Sunday, January 29, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) - After a sluggish first half, Louisville turned up its defense in the third quarter to top Pittsburgh.

Mariya Moore scored 20 points and the ninth-ranked Cardinals beat the Panthers 63-48 on Sunday.

Trailing 28-26 at the half, the Cardinals (20-4, 7-2 ACC) started the third period with a 10-1 run to finally pull ahead of the Panthers, who had led for almost the entire first 20 minutes.

“We picked things up defensively that’s what the difference was in the third quarter,” said Louisville coach Jeff Walz. “We came out with more energy and focus and that’s what turned things around. We got some defensive stops and easy transition baskets, something we didn’t get in the first half.”.

Louisville was up 47-35 heading to the fourth quarter and Moore’s 3-pointer made it a 17-point game. Pitt (12-9, 3-5) could only get within seven the rest of the way.

Moore hit five of the Cardinals’ 10 3-pointers against Pitt’s 2-3 zone.

“It was a super zone defense and unless we got to the middle, they pretty much shut down our other options, so we just needed to come together and figure out something,” Moore said. “I think it was just my night, I guess. I’ve had a lot of confidence lately.’

Pitt senior center Brandi Harvey-Carr led the Panthers with 13 points. Forward Brenna Wise had 12 as the Panthers relied heavily on their post play for offense.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville came into the game as one of four teams separated by just one win at the top of the ACC standings. While the conference doesn’t have one dominant team, there are seven currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and every win will be important as the teams enter the stretch run.

“Anything can happen in the ACC,” Wise said. “We’re seeing upsets left and right.”

Harvey-Carr and Wise have had excellent seasons for the Panthers, but the lack of scoring depth behind them has been a trouble spot all year. Kauai Bradley, the team’s third-leading scorer, was held to just three points.

STAR WATCH

Pitt shut down reigning ACC player of the year Myisha Hines-Allen, holding the Louisville junior to 1 of 6 from the floor and four points.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The win should keep the Cardinals in the top 10, for another week. Louisville, a preseason No. 5 this season, has been ranked in the Top 10 since Feb. 22, 2016.

UP NEXT

Pitt: The Panthers will travel to Syracuse on Wednesday as part of a two-game road swing that will also take them to Wake Forest.

Louisville: The Cardinals will return home for a game against No. 18 NC State on Wednesday. The Wolfpack are just a half-game behind the Cardinals in the ACC standings

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