March 5, 2010
Hartford, Conn. -
The University of Louisville (14-16) women's basketball defeated Pittsburgh (16-14) 79-71 in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament on Friday afternoon. Sophomore Monique Reid led the Cardinals with 32 points, tying her career-high. Keshia Hines added with 13 points for the Cardinals. Brittaney Thomas led four Panthers in double figures with 21 points.
Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 12-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game. The Cardinals went on a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 17-16 with 12:02 remaining in the half. The lead changed hands until the Panthers went on an 8-0 run to take a 30-23 lead at the 6:22 mark.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Shelby Harper and Rachel Story cut the lead to three with 4:37 remaining in the half. Becky Burke hit two foul shots and sparked an 8-0 run by Louisville to end the first half with a 43-36 lead.
The Cardinals finished the first half shooting 59.3 percent from the field while Pitt finished shooting 43.8 percent. Louisville finished the first half with an 18-12 rebounding advantage.
The Cardinals continued to lead the Panthers at the start of the second half. Pittsburgh used a 6-0 run after the first media timeout to tie the game at 51 with 13:37 remaining. The Cardinals responded and the lead changed hands several times until Pittsburgh took a 60-57 lead with 10:22 remaining. Burke hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to tie the game at 60.
Once again Pitt took a 66-63 lead after a jumper from Jania Sims. Reid tied the game for the 11th time with a three point play at the 4:14 mark, sparking an 8-0 run for a 75-69 lead with 1:58 left to play. Thomas hit a jumper on the next possession but the Cardinals held them scoreless for the final 1:44 for a 79-71 win.
Louisville finished the game shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from behind the arc. Pittsburgh shot 50.9 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from behind the arc. Louisville held a slight 31-30 rebounding advantage.
The Cardinals will play fifth-seeded Notre Dame tomorrow at Noon. The game will be broadcast on BIG EAST Television.