A career-high 29 points from Donovan Mitchell and red-hot shooting helped No. 14 Louisville breeze to a 106-51 victory over Pittsburgh on Tuesday in the Peterson Events Center on the Panthers' campus.
"Well it was one of those nights when everything went right for us," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "From a passing, shooting, defensive standpoint -- we didn't give up an offensive rebound in the second half until late, everything went right. And everything went wrong for them. It was just one of those nights."
The Cardinals (17-4, 5-3 ACC) dominated every phase of the game. Louisville held the Panthers (12-8, 1-6) to just 25 percent shooting, including a paltry 3 of 22 from 3-point range. Louisville out-rebounded Pitt 48-26, and outscored the Panthers 52-12 in the paint.
"This is about as disappointing of a performance as I could possibly imagine," Pitt coach Kevin Stallings said. "There are a lot of things I could say and a lot of things I would like to say, but suffice it to say, it's embarrassing. It's unacceptable"
Louisville built a quick 12-3 lead in the first five minutes, expanding the lead to 24-7 by the nine-minute mark before halftime. The Cardinals took their first 20-point lead at 31-11 with 6:30 left before halftime.
Ahead 51-18 at halftime, Louisville could have won the game by scoring a single point in the second half.
How bad were things for the Panthers?
Pitt missed 14 of its first 15 3-point attempts. The Panthers hit 6 of their first 31 field goal attempts while Mitchell hit 6 of his first 8 from 3-point range. Stallings was ejected from the game early in the second half as he stood at midcourt and screamed at the officials.
"It's my responsibility to have them prepared to play better than that, hard than that, smarter than that," Stallings said. "We weren't. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it's my responsibility. ... I think one thing this team has consistently shown is an inability to deal with adversity."
Louisville's 33-point halftime lead ballooned to 41 at 65-24 and then 51 at 82-31 with 11:08 left. The Cardinals' lead never reached 60 as Pitino substituted liberally throughout the second half.
After the game, Pitino raved about Mitchell's 29-point performance, his defense and his positive attitude after a disappointing outing in the Saturday's game vs. Florida State.
"He had a difficult game at Florida State and -- you know, he's one of the nicest young men I have ever coached -- and he comes back and shows what he is going to do in the next game," Pitino said. "Instead of hanging his head and such, he just says I had a bad game. I texted him and he texted back, 'It won't happen again, Coach.'"
Mitchell credited his teammates for picking up the slack left when starting point guard Quentin Snider went out with injury two games ago.
"Guys just found me in the right spots," Mitchell said. "With Q being out, he's just a great commander and great passer, Tony (Hicks) stepped up big time. He found me in spots that Q would normally find me in. At Florida State I got in foul trouble and couldn't find my rhythm, but Tony found me tonight and Deng Adel found me as well."
In addition to Mitchell's 29 points, the Cardinals got 15 from freshman reserve guard Ryan McMahon, 14 from junior center Anas Mahmoud and 10 a piece from grad transfer guard Tony Hicks and sophomore wing Deng Adel.
Pitt was led by senior forward Michael Young's 12 points.
-- Louisville has won 10 straight games against Pittsburgh dating back to 2010.
-- The Cardinals hold a 14-5 lead on Pitt in the all-time series.
-- Louisville hit 10 of its first 13 3-point attempts.
-- Louisville had 24 assists to Pitt's 8. The Cardinals shot 58.2 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three-point range.