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No. 17 Louisville holds off Pitt

Feb 26, 2012 - 10:44 PM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Russ Smith scored a game-high 18 points and No. 17 Louisville held off a resilient Pittsburgh team, 57-54, on Sunday.

Kyle Kuric added 17 points and Peyton Siva contributed 11 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Cardinals (22-7, 10-6 Big East), who bounced back from a loss at Cincinnati on Thursday.

J.J. Moore paced Pittsburgh with 16 points, and Nasir Robinson had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers (15-14, 4-12), who have dropped five straight. Dante Taylor netted 11 points in defeat.

Pittsburgh was held to 12.5 percent shooting (1-of-8) from beyond the arc, including Ashton Gibbs' potential game-tying heave from half-court as time expired.

"We were playing the three-point line, we were guarding the line with our life," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

Louisville tied its largest lead of the second half at eight on a free-throw by Siva with 6:24 remaining. But the Panthers came charging back, rolling off the next six points to make it 50-48.

Two Cardinal possessions later and with three seconds on the shot clock, Kuric accepted a pass from Chane Behanan a few feet beyond the three-point line and drained a long trey to give Louisville some breathing room with a five point lead.

Pittsburgh wouldn't go away, however, and a jumper by Tray Woodall and a dunk by Taylor cut the deficit to just one, 53-52, with 29.2 ticks to play.

Pitt immediately fouled Behanan, who missed the front end of a one-and-one. He redeemed himself, though, by grabbing the rebound when Tray Woodall missed everything on Pitt's next trip down the floor .

Louisville crawled out of an early 6-0 hole to lead throughout much of the first half, including its largest advantage of the game at 10 with 4:35 remaining.

The Panthers finished the frame on an 11-3 run, and the Cardinals held a 25-24 edge at halftime.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh committed 19 turnovers, including six by Woodall...Ashton Gibbs, the Panthers' leading scorer (15.8 ppg), finished with four points...Louisville shot 38.6 percent (17-of-44) from the floor.