CRAWFORD | Five takeaways from Louisville's 80-68 win over Pitts - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Five takeaways from Louisville's 80-68 win over Pittsburgh

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Rick Pitino and Montrezl Harrell share a pregame hug before Louisville's 80-68 win over Pittsburgh. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford) Rick Pitino and Montrezl Harrell share a pregame hug before Louisville's 80-68 win over Pittsburgh. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford)
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WDRB) — The University of Louisville once again found its offense, and it didn't have to look far. Turns out, it was in the hands of guards Terry Rozier and Chris Jones.

After Montrezl Harrell missed a dunk to open the game, U of L made its next nine shots and 11 of 12, then gradually got its defense going to put away Pittsburgh 80-68 in the Peterson Events Center.

Rozier had 13 points in the first 8:16 and finished with 26. Jones heated up for 11 second-half points and finished with 17.

Some quick takeaways, with a full game column to come later.

READ ERIC CRAWFORD'S COLUMN ON U OF L'S HISTORICALLY HOT SHOOTING HERE

1. THE SHOOTING HEATED UP — AGAIN. While the poor shooting gets more pub, U of L has now shot better than 47 percent in five of its past seven games. Pitt abandoned some early zone for tenacious second-half man-to-man. The Cards cooled down a bit, but showed some toughness of their own.

2. LOSING HIS COOL, AND A BIT OF A LEAD. As good as Jones was in the second half, he hurt the Cards with a second-half technical that gave Pittsburgh a four-point trip, and momentum, after U of L took an 18-point lead. It gave Pitt a four-point trip, and was a big part of a 10-2 run. He missed the front-end of a one-and-one and Pitt responded to cut U of L's lead to eight late. But Jones just keeps coming, good plays or bad. He took a ton of heavy contact, got angry, cooled down, made big shots on drives, dished off to teammates. 

3. ROZIER WAS RIVETING. Rozier had 18 first-half points. And he finished with a game-high 26. Pittsburgh hounded the Cardinals with second-half pressure, but he several times made them pay with smart plays in transition.

4. HACK-THE-CARDS. Pittsburgh decided to test the Cardinals' free-throw ability late with a double-digit deficit. They fouled Mangok Mathiang intentionally, but he made both free throws to put the Cards up 14. They fouled Montrezl Harrell intentionally on the Cards' next trip, and he made one of two. After a Pitt three-pointer, with U of L up 10 and 1:33 to play, Jamie Dixon called a timeout to set up another foul, but Rozier and Jones didn't give up the ball. And Dixon kept fouling, even as Pitt's own fans were streaming out of the Peterson Events Center, the Panthers fouled Harrell again and he made two. With 11.5 seconds left and his team down 78-68, Dixon had the Panthers foul Mathiang, and even his own crowd groaned. U of L made 12 of 17 free throws in the second half and 14 of 22 for the game.

5. HARRELL HAS 1,000. Harrell became the 66th U of L player to join the 1,000-point club. He finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds.

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