Jan. 8, 2013
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Pittsburgh made a final visit to Georgetown as a member of the Big East and did everything but steal the mascot, handing the Hoyas their worst loss in nearly four decades.
The Panthers routed the 19th-ranked Hoyas 73-45 on Tuesday night, a beatdown so thorough that the soundtrack for most of it was the constant chants of "Let's go, Pitt!" from visitors in a conference foe's building.
"It's our last time playing here at Georgetown," said Pitt's Tray Woodall, who had 11 points and seven assists, "and we wanted to make sure we come out with a bang."
Talib Zanna had 15 points, and the Panthers (13-3, 1-2) shot 55 percent, rediscovering their touch after consecutive conference losses that knocked them out of the Top 25.
Pittsburgh will surely miss the nation's capital when it leaves for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. Coach Jamie Dixon joked that "we're going to play an 82-game schedule" to satisfy all those who want the school to keep playing Big East teams, but the Verizon Center is particularly appealing because the Panthers have won their three last games at Georgetown by 16, 15 and 28 points.
"I think we're going to have to find a way to play here," Dixon said.
Don't expect Georgetown coach John Thompson III to extend the invitation. The margin of defeat was the largest by the Hoyas since a 104-71 loss to Maryland on Dec. 10, 1974. It was the largest home loss since a 107-67 rout by St. John's on Dec. 7, 1971.
No player scored in double figures for the Hoyas (10-3, 0-2), who shot 35 percent and have lost their first two Big East games for the first time since 2001-02. Georgetown failed to score 50 points for the fourth time this season, including their 49-48 loss at Marquette on Saturday, and various changes in the attack haven't compensated for a thin roster that lacks a consistent go-to scorer.
The Hoyas finished with more turnovers (17) than field goals (13).
The Panthers, who got their second-biggest road win in Big East history, beat the Hoyas inside and out, scoring 18 points in the paint and making 4 of 5 3-point attempts while building a 37-22 halftime lead.
Georgetown had four turnovers from three players during a 90-second stretch in the first half. At the other end, Durand Johnson was hitting a 3-pointer, Dante Taylor was putting away a dunk, and Cameron Wright was converting a fast-break layup to make the score 14-4.
The Panthers didn't slack off in the second half, pushing the lead higher and higher and having fun with alley-oop passes in transition even as the frustration continued to mount for the Hoyas. Thompson drew a technical - his first since March 2007 - for leaving the coach's box during a bout of extended fury when Nate Lubick was called for a foul in the second half.
"I don't think I did anything that was out of character for me and anything different than I was doing for most of the game," Thompson said. "Was I out of the box? Yes. Now, you watch as many games as I do - people get out of the box."