Kuric lifts Louisville over Pittsburgh in OTFeb 28, 2011 - 5:53 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Kyle Kuric scored five of his 12 points in the extra period as the 16th-ranked Cardinals edged No. 4 Pittsburgh, 62-59, in an overtime thriller in Louisville.
Peyton Siva added 14 points, including 6-of-6 from the line, for the Cardinals (22-7, 11-5 Big East), who have won three straight and four of five overall. Mike Marra added 11 points for the victors.
"With the season coming to an end, I though our guys played great defense," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. "Throughout the game they made some great plays offensively. I am really proud of our guys."
Pittsburgh has already locked up a double-bye in the Big East conference tournament, but was looking to clinch at least a share of the regular season title with a win. However, a first half scoring drought kept the Panthers playing catch-up all game, and they failed to take the lead in the second half and extra period.
Gilbert Brown paced the Panthers (25-4, 13-3) with a game-high 20 points. Ashton Gibbs scored 14 and Brad Wanamaker, who sent the game into overtime with his jumper in the final seconds, finished with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the loss, their second to a ranked opponent in three games.
"Tough game," Brown said. "We couldn't come back from tough calls from the refs. We should have beat these guys, they shouldn't have been on the court with us."
The Panthers trailed for the entire overtime and after Kuric connected on a dunk with .2 seconds remaining the referees called Louisville for a technical foul because the Cardinals' cheerleaders rushed the court. Gibbs made both free throws to put the game at 62-59, and the Panthers failed to get a final shot off before the clock ran out to end the game.
Trailing 31-22 at the half, the Panthers regrouped in the final 20 minutes, and trimmed their deficit to 40-37 with a Brown layup at 13:14.
Terrence Jennings held the Cardinals lead at 49-44 just inside seven minutes remaining but five straight points from Wanamaker tied the game at 49-49 with 3:39 left on the clock.
The Cardinals failed to pull away in the final minutes, and Wanamaker tied the game twice through the end of regulation, and his jumper with 18 ticks left on the clock made it 56-56.
Kuric had a chance to win the game on a driving jumper, but his shot was blocked by Wanamaker, sending the game into the extra period.
An early 10-0 first half Louisville run, capped by a Stephan Van Treese layup, gave the Cardinals an 17-9 advantage. During the run, the Panthers missed all six field goals they attempted.
Gibbs finally got Pittsburgh on the board with three from the line at 7:45. but a Kuric three and Siva fastbreak layup widened the Cardinals' lead to 22-12.
Wanamaker's jumper at 3:20 ended an 11:11 Pittsburgh field goal shooting drought, and after his tip-in at 1:49 the Panthers' deficit was 26-20. Brown's jumper after a Knowles missed three made it a four-point game. However, the Cardinals created some breathing room down the stretch and Siva's free throws with two seconds remaining gave Louisville a 31-22 edge entering the locker room.
Siva and Marra paced Louisville with eight points apiece in the first half, but an 11-of-30 shooting effort allowed the Panthers to keep it close. Pittsburgh was 8-of-25 (32 percent) from the field and an atrocious 1-of-8 from long range in the first half.
Rakeem Buckles, who averages just over seven points a game for Louisville, left the game after missing a jumper at 9:31 of the first half...The all-time series is now tied at 5-5.
- PITTSBURGH: 59
Final - OT
Feb 27 4:26 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 56
End of Regulation
Feb 27 4:09 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 22
Feb 27 2:53 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 27 2:06 PM
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