Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Terry Rozier matched a career high with 26 points and 10th-ranked Louisville got its offense back on track in an 80-68 win over Pittsburgh at Petersen Events Center.
After shooting just 29.5 percent that included a dreadful 4-of-25 rate from 3-point range in their last game, a 63-52 home loss to Duke eight days ago, the Cardinals hit on 65.2 percent of their field goal attempts in a strong bounce-back effort.
Montrezl Harrell, playing for the first time since being stripped of his captain's role by head coach Rick Pitino in a well-publicized move during the week, went 8-of-12 from the floor in an 18-point effort for Louisville (16-3, 4-2 ACC). Chris Jones buried 3-of-4 tries from beyond the arc en route to 17 points.
"We usually win with defense and tonight we won with offense," said Pitino. "Great shooting percentages are the result of great passing and we did a terrific job passing against a good defensive team."
Jamel Artis posted 18 points and eight rebounds for Pittsburgh (13-7, 3-4), with James Robinson recording 16 points and six assists in the loss and Michael Young finishing with 14 points and nine boards.
The Cardinals came out on fire following their eight-day layoff, making good on a scorching 70.8 percent of their field goal tries in the first half while building a 40-30 lead at the break. Rozier led the way with 18 points on 8- of-11 shooting.
"He saw open spots and he attacked it," Harrell said of Rozier. "That's the player he is. They gave him open driving lanes and he made them pay for it."
Louisville didn't pull away until the latter stages of the opening frame, however. The Cardinals were up by only two with under 4 1/2 minutes to go before embarking on a 12-2 run to claim a 40-28 advantage.
Rozier recorded five points during the tear, which ended with Jones getting fouled while converting a layup off a steal and sinking the ensuing bonus shot with 1:58 left in the half.
"I think they started the run with us making mistakes trying to beat their press," said Young.
The Panthers scored the first five points of the second half to pull within five, but Louisville countered with an 8-0 spurt and remained ahead by double digits over most of the duration.
Harrell began the flurry with an emphatic dunk and Jones followed with a triple in front of Mangok Mathiang's 3-point play that extended the margin to 48-35 with under 13 minutes left. It was an 18-point spread after another Jones trey preceded Harrell's inside bucket that put the Cardinals up 62-44 with 6:59 to play.
The Panthers did make a late bid to get back in it, putting together an 8-2 flurry capped by an Artis jumper that cut the deficit to 66-58 with 4:05 remaining.
Pitt didn't make another basket over the next 2 1/2 minutes, however, as the Cardinals put the game away with an 8-2 run.
Harrell reached the 1,000-point milestone with his first basket of the game, a layup less than four minutes in ... The Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh by a 40-18 margin in the paint and went 6-of-12 on 3-point attempts ... The Panthers shot just 37.3 percent overall and were 6-of-23 from beyond the arc ... The game marked the first meeting between the former Big East rivals in ACC play. Louisville won seven of its 12 matchups against Pitt in the Big East.