Nov. 1, 2013
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PITTSBURGH--Four Pitt players reached double figure scoring as the Panthers registered a 96-60 exhibition win against NCAA Division II Slippery Rock Friday evening at Petersen Events Center. Pitt opens its inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its season opener on Friday, Nov. 8 vs. Savannah State at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
Sophomore Durand Johnson led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points on 7-13 shooting and 4-7 on 3-pointers. Junior Cameron Wright registered a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, senior Talib Zanna contributed 14 points and eight rebounds and senior Lamar Patterson totaled 11 points and five assists.
A 2013 NCAA Division II Tournament participant, Slippery Rock was held to 33.9 percent (19-56) field goal shooting. The Rock was also forced into 19 turnovers as the Panthers finished with 15 steals. Pitt led by as many as 41 points (91-50) with 2:28 left in the game. Johnson made the play of the day when he was fouled on a fastbreak dunk.
Pitt took control early in the contest with a 12-0 run to build an early 15-3 lead on a 3-point play from Cameron Wright and consecutive 3-pointers from Lamar Patterson and Durand Johnson.
In the first half, Pitt forced Slippery Rock into using all four of its 30 second timeouts. The Panthers forced 10 turnovers in racing out to a 39-20 halftime lead. Zanna led the Panthers with 11 points (4-5 FG) and Wright added 10 points.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was pleased with his team's performance.
"The focus of the last week was improvement," Dixon said. "I think we obviously accomplished that, for a couple reasons. I think we had a lineup that we were practicing with most of the week. We improved on defense with our patience, specifically. There was a lot of room for improvement this week and we showed that. Slippery Rock kept playing, and playing hard. We knew they were going to play hard and we knew this was an important game for them, and they kept playing all the way through. I thought we played well and with a purpose, and we received some very good performances from a lot of guys."
Pitt starters included guards James Robinson and Wright, forwards Patterson and Michael Young and center Zanna. Forward Derrick Randall returned from injury and contributed six points and six rebounds.
Slippery Rock was led by Maurice Lewis-Brigg's 20 points.
PITT-SLIPPERY ROCK GAME NOTES
*Pitt has won 30 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a 92-90 loss to Marathon Oil on November 3, 1999.
*Pitt is now 54-5 all-time in exhibition games.
*Jamie Dixon owns a perfect 22-0 all-time record in exhibition games.