The #5 Louisville Cardinals defeated the Pitt Panthers 64 – 61 to end their 3 game losing streak in front fo their home crowd at the KFC Yum! Center. Gorgui Dieng led the Cardinals with 14 points and 12 rebounds, blocking a shot in the final seconds that helped cement the victory for the Cardinals. In a game where Pitt seemed to fluctuate between just within reach to a 10 point deficit it was senior Dante Taylor who had the biggest game with 9 points and 4 rebounds. Yet his reliance on going over the back cost him as a key foul with around 9 minutes remaining in the 2nd half may have led to the points that put the nail in the coffin.
Tray Woodall added 14 points and 3 assists. Talib Zanna led the Panthers on the glass with 10 rebounds, freshman sensation Steven Adams pulled down 7 while adding 8 points.
In the end free throws may have done the Panthers in as they shot 25 percent from the line going 3 for 12. In contrast the Cardinals went 13 for 17. While there were moments that the Panthers seemed like they could pull off a victory they were never in control, especially in terms of the paint where Louisville was free to score from throughout the game. Defensive breakdowns and sloppy play led to a defeat for the Panthers who now see their record go to 17 -5 (5-4 in the Big East). They will play Syracuse on Saturday.
For Dante Taylor it was a rare performance that showed the dominant skills that led him to be named a McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior at National Christian Academy in 2008. However just moments later he returned to form, again resembling the bench warming flop who will leave Pitt fans wondering for years to come. What happened to Dante Taylor? The video below shows the raw skills that led many to celebrate him as a top prospect just 5 years ago. A player who local fans once debated would not stay past two years has never developed into a starter, partially because of the emergence of Talib Zanna and partially because of ????? It is unclear what Taylor’s legacy will be as his career has yet to end, but as the last minutes of the last games of his career tick down it is essential he do something to be remembered for.