4-1-Zoo: Pitt beats WVU, 71-59

PITTSBURGH — Once again, No. 4 Pitt utilized a solid second-half performance to beat West Virginia.

This time the Panthers (25-3, 13-2) had arguably their best shooting half of the season while WVU (17-10, 8-7) might claim it had its worst. Pitt cruised to victory, 71-58.

Trailing 31-30 at halftime, the Panthers burst out to a quick 7-0 run to start the second half. Freshman Lamar Patterson scored five points, pulled in a rebound and blocked a shot, eventually forcing a West Virginia timeout with 16:55 to play.

“We knew we wasn’t in our flow offensively (in the first half),” Brad Wanamaker said. “We (were) letting ’em play a little too physically with us and we weren’t responding.

“In the second half we settled down and adjusted to their defense.”

Patterson finished the game with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds in 22 minutes. His play was valuable considering Gilbert Brown suffered through foul trouble all night, eventually fouling out with 1:44 left.

“It felt good to go out on the court and finally put something together,” Patterson said. “Watching these leaders on the court ahead of me, it was able to make the process real smooth.”

Brown was benched after his fourth foul with 12:44 left, but Pitt managed to continue piling on to its lead. The Panthers forced another timeout on a Brad Wanamaker rebound and put-back to push the lead to 47-36 with 11:36 left.

It marked a 17-5 run to start the first half.

“There wasn’t a panic at halftime,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.

The 11-point lead remained for much of the rest of regulation. Pitt ended up severely outshooting WVU. The Panthers made 15 of 23 shots in the second half (65 percent) while the Mountaineers managed just six field goals on 23 shots (26 percent).

It looked like West Virginia might pull off a dramatic late comeback when Brown fouled out on a technical foul. Casey Mitchell made four straight free throws to close the gap to nine points with 1:30 left.

However, the Mountaineers decided not to foul and it cost them. Dante Taylor and Patterson each dunked the ball home in Pitt’s final two possessions to win, 71-58.

“We felt pretty good going in to the second half because we didn’t really play well, we were in foul trouble,” Dixon said. “…We didn’t have to make a big presentation about it. It was just keep it simple, get back to doing it with a little bit more patience offensively, which is what we saw.”


  • Talib Zanna broke his right thumb and will be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks. Dixon said the injury occurred after the team’s pregame meal. He said “it was off the court. Guys were messing around.” Zanna will have surgery on the thumb Friday.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog


One Comment

  1. Mon River Towing says:

    What got into Lamar Patterson tonight? Suddenly Patterson looks comfortable out there. What gives?

    Loved Zoo harrassment of Kilicli after he fouled out. Plain good TV.

  2. Jimmy Fiscus says:

    I don’t normally write on blogs, but feel the need to write after the past few weeks of losses by Pitt Panther basketball. I have been a fan of the Panthers basketball since the years just before Ben Howland became coach. My attitude of being a great big fan has grown over those years. I have been upset by lousy team shooting and presence over these years in expected easy wins and very hard to come by wins. Game after game, the Panthers have been taught to keep it close by keeping the ball for the full 35 seconds or as close to it as possible. I understand that defensive thinking. What do we need to do to score 20 or more points up on a team and keep it that way, possibly run up the score?
    The Panthers now have the chance to do what no team has ever done before, be ranked at the top, stay there, win the conference, win the conference playoff, and possibly make the final four. All they need to do is SCORE, SCORE, & SCORE. This team is the most experienced ever with the 5 year starters. I hope this team makes me the proudest I have ever been as a fan of the Panthers. Good Luck Panthers! I hope you take it all the way to Number 1 and win the NCAA Championship!!!!

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