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Pitt coach allegedly told Louisville fan that at least his team didn't pay players $100,000

Associated Press

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 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 the rest of the way.

"It was good to see them respond that way," Padgett said after Louisville lost 90-61 to Kentucky on Friday.

The Cardinals (11-3) 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 in double figures.

While the Cardinals tried to put the Kentucky loss 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.

STALLINGS VERBAL WITH FAN

Late in the game, Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings got into a verbal tussle with a heckling fan near the Panthers' bench. Stallings allegedly told a fan that at least his team didn't pay players $100,000, referencing a claim in an ongoing FBI investigation that Louisville orchestrated such a payment to five-star recruit Brian Bowen.

The investigation led to the dismissal of coach Rick Pitino and prompted the school to make Bowen ineligible.

In the postgame press conference, Stallings admitted to the confrontation with the fan, but didn't reveal what he said.

"Somebody said something bad about my players," Stallings said. "So, I'm just going to stick up for my players. Probably said the wrong thing, but I'm not going to let people talk crap about my players."

Padgett said he wasn't aware of the incident until a question was asked in his press conference. He knows the team has been — and most likely will be throughout the season — heckled on the road. At Purdue, Boilermakers fan wore FBI shirts.

"We've just got to ignore that," Padgett said. "Our players at Purdue, they didn't let it bother them, so it's not anything we're going to talk about or pay attention to."

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