Nov. 4, 2010
PITTSBURGH—Center Gary McGhee finished with a 12-point and 11-rebound double-double and three other Pitt players reached double-figure scoring as the Panthers defeated NCAA Division II Indiana, Pa., 73-56, Thursday at the Petersen Events Center. The game marked Pitt’s its second and final exhibition contest of the preseason. Pitt, which opens regular-season play on Monday night against Rhode Island, has now won 24 straight exhibition contests and is a perfect 16-0 in exhibition games under Head Coach Jamie Dixon.
All 10 Pitt players who saw action scored in the contest as the Panthers shot 52-percent from the field and hit 9-17 3-pointers (52.9 percent). The Panthers had double-figure scoring efforts from McGhee, Travon Woodall, Lamar Patterson and Brad Wanamaker. Wanamaker, Woodall and Patterson each dropped in 13 points in the effort. Patterson hit 3-6 3-pointers and Woodall finished 3-4 from behind the line. Wanamaker paced the team with a game-high six assists.
Indiana, Pa., coached by former Pitt assistant Joe Lombardi, will enter its season ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division II. An assistant under Dixon from 2003-06 at Pitt, Lombardi led Indiana, Pa., to a 33-3 record, along with Atlantic Region and PSAC titles last season before dropping a 65-53 decision to Cal State Pomona in the NCAA Division II national title game a season ago.
“Pitt is just Pitt,” Lombardi said after the game. “It’s size, it’s skill (and) they don’t beat themselves. That’s why they’re one of the most consistent teams in the country over the last decade.”
Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs connected on a floater early in the first half to give Pitt a 2-0 lead and the Panthers never trailed as they built a 13-3 advantage and maintained a steady edge for the remainder of the game. Pitt’s first five field goals were scored by five different players and nine of 10 players registered points in the first half of play. The Panthers entered the half with a 32-22 lead.
McGhee then hit two free throws to open up the second half and Wanamaker followed with a steal-and-dunk before another McGhee basket extended Pitt’s lead to 16. McGhee was the first Panther to reach double-figures, scoring in his 10th point about six minutes into the half.
Indiana, Pa. still kept things close, cutting Pitt’s lead down to single-digits and staying within reach. But a string of four 3-pointers from Lamar Patterson (three) and Travon Woodall gave the Panthers a 19-point lead, and Pitt rolled from there.
“I was happy with the way we responded in the second half,” Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon said. “We got open shots and we did a better job attacking.”
Pitt finished the game with a 39-32 advantage on the boards and assisted on 18 of 26 of its field goals.
Pitt’s season-opening contest on Monday against Rhode Island begins the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Tipoff at the Petersen Events Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN-U with Dan Shulman, Doris Burke and Andy Katz calling action.
PITT-INDIANA, PA. POST-GAME NOTES
*Pitt’s starters for the contest included: redshirt freshman Talib Zanna and redshirt senior Gilbert Brown at forward; senior Gary McGhee at center; senior Brad Wanamaker and junior Ashton Gibbs at guard.
*Senior forward Gilbert Brown and redshirt freshman Lamar Patterson played their first minutes of the preseason on Thursday night after sitting out Pitt’s first preseason matchup against Northwood (Fla.). Brown scored five points in 19 minutes and Patterson scored 13 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.
*Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon improved to a perfect 16-0 in exhibition games as Pitt’s head coach. The Panthers have won 24-straight exhibition contests dating back to a Nov. 10, 1998 loss to Marathon Oil (92-90).
*Pitt opens its regular-season schedule with a home contest against Rhode Island Monday night at 7 p.m. The game is part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN-U.