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Pitt men run over by Louisville for ACC loss

| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 11:35 p.m.
Pitt guard Marcus Carr fights his way around the defense of Louisville forward Deng Adel during the first half Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.
Pitt guard Marcus Carr fights his way around the defense of Louisville forward Deng Adel during the first half Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.
Pitt guard Shamiel Stevenson (attempts to drive past the defense of Louisville forward Malik Williams during the first half Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.
Pitt guard Shamiel Stevenson (attempts to drive past the defense of Louisville forward Malik Williams during the first half Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.
Louisville forward Anas Mahmoud (left) attempts to block a shot by Pitt's guard Marcus Carr the second half.
Louisville forward Anas Mahmoud (left) attempts to block a shot by Pitt's guard Marcus Carr the second half.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — David Padgett thought his Louisville team would come out with more intensity Tuesday night, and the Cardinals proved their interim coach right.

Quentin Snider scored 19 points to lead Louisville to a 77-51 victory over Pittsburgh.

In the Cardinals' Atlantic Coast Conference opener, they quickly erased any taste left over from their 90-61 loss to Kentucky on Friday. Louisville (11-3) used a 17-0 run to take a 28-12 lead with 7:48 left in the first half and led by at least 11 points the rest of the way.

“It was good to see them respond that way,” Padgett said.

The Cardinals shot 50 percent from the floor, the third time this season they made at least half of their shots. Deng Adel added 12 points for Louisville, which had four players score in double figures.

While the Cardinals looked to put the Kentucky game behind them, sophomore Ryan McMahon is hoping they can still take something from it.

“Hopefully that will fuel us for motivation throughout the rest of the season, it was pretty unforgettable,” said McMahon, who scored eight of his 10 points during the decisive run.

The Panthers (8-7, 0-2) made five of their first six baskets then missed their next eight as the Cardinals pulled away. Held to a season-low in points for the second straight game, Pittsburgh made just four of its final 17 shots in the first half and shot just 35 percent overall.

Parker Stewart led the Panthers with 12 points.

The Panthers, who have 11 new players on the roster, are still trying to find an identity midway through the season. On Tuesday, Stallings employed his 11th different starting lineup of the season by starting five freshmen for the first time in program history. Part of that is due to an injury to senior forward Ryan Luther, who missed his fifth straight game with an injured right foot.

Junior Jared Wilson-Frame came off the bench for the first time this season, as Stallings said he was hoping that would give him a spark after struggling in the last three games. However, despite the lineup shuffling, it hasn't impacted who gets playing time.

“Of course we're searching for something that works. It's just trying to reward guys that are playing a bit better,” he said.

The Cardinals did indeed recover a bit from their lopsided loss at Kentucky on Friday, but questions remain about this team's ceiling. In particular, Louisville hasn't beaten a team currently rated in the top 100 of the RPI. Louisville has plenty of opportunities ahead during the next month as nine of its next 10 opponents are in the top 100.

Padgett said he's telling his players to just take it game by game.

“That's the only way we can look at it,” he said. “In leagues like this, and I remember from my playing days in the Big East, you can't look ahead. I mean, you just can't.”

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