The Pitt women’s basketball team dropped its sixth straight — and final — regular season game, 81-49, at No. 4 Louisville Sunday, finishing with a 2-14 ACC record heading into the postseason conference tournament.
A day after the men’s basketball team suffered a 29-point loss to the best team in the ACC, the women’s team (10-19 overall) found itself in a similar scenario — playing the best team in the conference and putting up a very similar result — losing by 32 to the ACC regular-season champion Cardinals (29-2 overall, 15-1 ACC).
With an ACC title on the line, Louisville quickly showed why it’s one of the best teams in the nation. It took just six minutes for the Cardinals to open up a double-digit lead as junior guard Asia Durr knocked down a three to go ahead, 16-6, with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Durr’s sharpshooting became a common theme in the first half as she knocked down three more before halftime. The Panthers seemingly had no answer for the Cardinals on defense.
While Durr led the offense from beyond the arc, Louisville senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen stifled Pitt’s defense in the paint. The lone honoree of Louisville’s senior day played a nearly impeccable first half, making six of her seven field goal attempts for 12 points, as well as nine rebounds.
The duo of Durr and Hines-Allen combined for 24 first-half points — more than the 22 scored by Pitt’s entire lineup. The Panthers trailed 38-22 at the break, mostly due to poor shooting — 10 of 24 from the field, 0 for 2 from three-point range — and turnovers, which totaled nine.
Junior forward Yacine Diop played well in an otherwise ugly half for Pitt, shooting four of six from the field and leading the team with nine points.
The Panthers picked up scoring in the third quarter, tacking up 17 points as a team and narrowing the deficit to 12, 48-36, after a free throw by junior guard Cassidy Walsh with three minutes remaining.
That score marked the closest Pitt would come, however, as Louisville finished the quarter on a ferocious 13-3 run. When Durr sank another three at the buzzer, the Cardinals led 61-39 going into the fourth quarter.
Despite leading by 22 points, Louisville kept the pressure on in the last frame. Sophomore guard Jasmine Whitney scored seven of the Panthers’ 10 fourth-quarter points, while the Cardinals doubled that total with 20 points in the fourth — giving Louisville an 81-49 advantage at the buzzer.
Diop and Whitney led Pitt’s scoring effort with 18 and 16 points, respectively, while Hines-Allen posted a dominant 18-point, 16-rebound game in her last home game as a Cardinal.
With the loss, the Panthers are slated to be the No. 14 seed in the 15-team ACC Tournament. They will take on the No. 11 seed Wake Forest this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C.