PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Panthers ended their nearly two season-long ACC losing streak against the Louisville Cardinals Thursday, January 10, despite the Cardinals clawing back from a 13-point deficit late and forcing overtime.
Trey McGowens set a school freshman record by pouring in 33 points, fellow freshman Xavier Johnson added 21 points and 10 assists and Pitt held off Louisville 89-86 in overtime.
Despite fantastic performances from Pitt's freshmen, the Cardinals had a chance. Louisville missed six shots over the last 90 seconds as its 12-game winning streak over the Panthers ended with a clang. Christen Cunningham led the Cardinals (10-5, 1-1) with 23 points and Enoch chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds, but leading scorer Jordan Nwora finished with just eight points on 2-of-14 shooting and Louisville couldn't seem to keep the explosive Panthers in check.
"The backcourt for Pitt was phenomenal," coach Chris Mack said. "It's hard to believe those kids should be high school seniors. They're freshmen now, and they had their way with us."
Mack added his team's defense was "deplorable." The Panthers shot 52 percent (32 of 61) from the field, including 61 percent (16 of 26) in the second half to offset a miserable 16 of 33 performance at the foul line that nearly cost them the game. Conversely, Pitt's defense forced 18 turnovers.
"Bad night for our team," Mack said. "I thought Jeff's guys were a lot harder playing than our team. I thought maybe the whipping they took over the weekend fueled them. They came out, played a lot harder than we did."