LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville junior forward Mariya Moore found her shooting stroke in the second half.
After going 0-for-3 from the field in the first half against Pittsburgh, Moore got hot in the second half, scoring 12 of her 18 points, to help No. 8 Louisville rolled to a 73-52 win over the Panthers on Sunday.
“It just comes out of confidence,” Moore said. “I got a lot of confidence after the Duke game and it made me realize that me missing (shots) and getting upset about it was really affecting myself, and my team needed me, so (I) just (had) the confidence to keep shooting and they’ll eventually go-in.”
Freshman guard Jazmine Jones added 13 off the bench while Myisha Hines-Allen and Ciera Johnson contributed 11 apiece for the Cardinals (15-3, 3-1 ACC), who converted 24 Panthers turnovers into 27 points.
“They forced us into too many turnovers, they made us play fast,” Pittsburgh coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. “Defensively they just disrupt what you’re trying to do and we just didn’t have the guards to handle their pressure.”
Meanwhile led by Jones and Johnson, Louisville’s bench outscored their Panthers counterparts 35-9.
Brandi Harvey-Carr tallied 25 points to pace the Panthers (10-6, 1-2), who shot 48.8 percent (21 for 43) from the field.
“We knew she could play and she wore us out, there’s no question about it. It really didn’t matter who we put on her,” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said.
THE BIG PICTURE
Pittsburgh: The struggles continue for the Panthers, who lost for the third time in four games. Two of those losses, however, were to Top 20 teams. Pittsburgh was blown out 82-50 by No. 14 Miami in its ACC opener Jan. 2.
Louisville: The Cardinals keep rolling. Louisville’s win over Pittsburgh was its ninth in 10 games. The Cardinals’ lone loss in that span was a 58-55 setback at Duke on Jan. 2.
ASIA AT REST
Louisville leading scorer Asia Durr didn’t play in the second half against the Panthers. The 5-10 sophomore guard, who entered averaging 18.2 points per game, was just 1 for 9 from the field - including 1 of 6 from 3-point range - in 14 first-half minutes.
“She looked really tired,” Walz said. “She looked tired, so if I didn’t have to play her in the second half I wasn’t going to. I was just trying to give her a break.
“These kids, they’re college kids, they don’t do a very good job of taking care of themselves. They all want to stay up til 2 or 3 in the morning, then try to sleep during the day. Well, that’s not the way it works. If you want to be an elite athlete you’ve got to try to make sure you go to bed at a decent hour and get a good night’s sleep, because your body takes a toll. It’s war out there.”
SIZZLE, THEN FIZZLE
Pitt hit 8 of its first 10 shots to forge an early 18-13 lead. The Panthers, however, missed their next 10 shots - a dry spell of almost 10 minutes. During that time the Cardinals outscored them 17-2 to take control of the game.
“We’re just not deep, so when you’re playing against that kind of pressure and that physicality it wears you down over time,” McConnell-Serio said.
Pittsburgh plays its second straight Top 10 foe Thursday at No. 7 Notre Dame.
Louisville takes on the Sunshine State in its next two games. The Cardinals play at No. 6 Florida State on Thursday before returning home to host No. 14 Miami next Sunday.
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