Hammond helps No. 8 Louisville pull away from Pitt 48-35
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) After last month's 63-57 win at Pitt, Louisville coach Jeff Walz anticipated another bruising affair in Sunday's rematch.
Walz got the defensive struggle he expected as No. 8 Louisville endured its worst shooting performance of the season but shut down the Panthers late to win 48-35.
''I knew it was going to be a slugfest,'' Walz said. ''I knew going into it, especially with how things were up there. They do a very good job defensively. I'm just really impressed with how they came out and guarded us.''
Louisville shot 31 percent (17 of 55) but held Pitt to just 13 of 62 from the field (21 percent). Sara Hammond's 11 points and 13 rebounds led the Cardinals (20-3, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Leading 34-32, Louisville held Pitt to one field goal, a 3-pointer, in the final 7:26.
Shawnta' Dyer added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench as Louisville rebounded from Monday's loss at No. 15 Duke.
Stasha Carey and Aysia Bugg each scored 10 points for Pitt (15-8, 5-5). Yacine Diop added eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Cardinals held Pitt's leading scorer Brianna Kiesel to two points, her lowest outing of the season. The senior point guard hit just 1 of 13 shots and exited with a left wrist injury with 10:40 to play.
''The whole game we were just trying to make her uncomfortable, because if she gets going early, she's one of the top scorers in the ACC,'' Hammond said.
Both teams entered Sunday holding opponents to 37 percent shooting. A crowd of 13.656 watched the lowest scoring total for Louisville in a win since the 2012 season opener against Texas A&M.
Despite the poor shooting numbers, Louisville capitalized on Pitt's mistakes, scoring 15 points off 17 turnovers. The Panthers managed only two points off Louisville's 14 miscues.
Hammond's layup to start the second half gave the Cardinals a 27-18 advantage before Pitt rallied. The Panthers scored six straight as Diop's 18-footer with 9:54 remaining cut the lead to 31-30.
Louisville free throws pushed the lead to 4 before Bugg's jumper with 7:26 left made it 34-32. Louisville scored 10 straight and Pitt would not score again until Bugg's 3 with 58 seconds left gave the Panthers their last points of the afternoon.
''We were getting stops and we just couldn't get over the hump and find ways to score,'' Pitt coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. ''It was a tough finish for us.''
An earlier 10-0 run put Louisville in control. The Cardinals trailed 8-4 after four minutes but took a 14-8 lead with 12:07 left in the opening half. Louisville did not trail from that point and led 25-18 at halftime.
Louisville: Entering Sunday, the Cardinals averaged 18.1 assists a game, second in the ACC. The Cardinals had just 10 on Sunday, one less than their season low in a loss to Kentucky.
Pitt: The 35-point performance was the lowest of Pitt's season and ended a two-game win streak. The Panthers' previous low was 43 points in losses to Princeton and at Florida State.
PITT STAR INJURED
Brianna Kiesel's drive to the basket midway in the second half was met by a hard foul from Louisville's Emmonnie Henderson. Kiesel braced herself for the fall, injuring her left wrist, and did not return. Pitt coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said Kiesel's status is unknown and that she would be examined by team doctors upon return to Pittsburgh.
Kiesel had averaged 23.3 points per game in the four previous contests and was fourth in the ACC in scoring (18.5) and first in assists (5) entering Sunday.
Louisville travels to Clemson on Thursday.
Pitt hosts Virginia Tech on Thursday.