By: Chris Gates

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Quite simply, it was one of the worst Pitt in a long, long time.

Pitt lost to Rutgers, 62-39, Wednesday at the Petersen Events Center in an effort that saw the Panthers shoot just 20 percent from the field. Pitt made a total of just four baskets in the first half and trailed 30-19 at the break.

Offensively, the Panthers improved a touch in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough to spur a comeback.

“They knew a lot of our plays,” Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs said of Rutgers, which is coached by former Robert Morris coach Mike Rice. Gibbs finished the game with eight points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Rice agreed.

“We run half of what they run,” Rice said. “They’re good plays, they’re good sets.”

Rutgers dominated Pitt on the glass, 51-35, and out muscled the Panthers for a 32-14 scoring advantage in the paint.

“They played a lot harder and it was evident,” Gibbs said.

Senior forward Nasir Robinson scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. He and Gibbs combined for 15 points on 5-of-20 shooting and seven of Pitt’s 15 turnovers.

J.J. Moore led Pitt with 10 points on 2-of-10 shooting — the only Panther in double-figures.

“I know our fans are disappointed,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We’re sorry for how we played.”

Dixon added that the players were very disappointed and “the locker room was silent” after the game.

Pitt is now 11-6 overall and a stunning 0-4 in the Big East. The Panthers return to action Saturday at Marquette.

“Every team goes through this,” Rice said in regards to Pitt’s current woes. “It’s gonna work itself out. It always does.”

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