LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -Before Saturday’s showdown with Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center, the Louisville Cards had some business to take care of at Pittsburgh. In U of L’s ACC opener, Louisville held off the pesky Panthers, 64 -54 on Tuesday night.
The Cards, coming off a 37-point drubbing at Wisconsin, bounced back with the help of sophomores David Johnson and Samuell Williamson as each racked up their first career double-doubles. Johnson led the way with 17 points and 11 boards while teammate Williamson scored 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Louisville, which led by two points at intermission, 30-28, was able to gain separation in the second half.
The shorthanded Panthers were able to stay within striking distance most of the game. Pitt was without its top two scorers, Justin Champagnie ( 17.8 points) and Anthony Toney ( 16.2 points) as they were out with leg injuries, plus they were missing head coach Jeff Capel, who was sidelined after a positive COVID-19 test.
The Panthers trailed by just six points late, but then David Johnson scored on back-to-back buckets to put the Cards on top 58-48 with under three minutes to play.
One major advantage for Louisville was its commanding 45-26 margin on the glass.
“We did do a great job on the glass. You know we were getting second and third shots”, said U of L head coach Chris Mack.
The Cards, now 5-1, will host rival Kentucky Saturday at 1:00 P.M. The game will be televised by ESPN.