Panthers limit fifth of six opponent on year to 70 points or less.
Nov. 28, 2009
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Halfway through the second half, Pittsburgh was locked in a tie for the second game in a row. Only the opponent was much different and, not surprisingly, the outcome was, too.
Ashton Gibbs scored eight of his 14 points during a 10-0 run, and Pitt took control after squandering an 11-point lead to pull away for a 72-56 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday.
Pitt rebounded from its first November loss in 38 games under seventh-year coach Jamie Dixon, a 78-62 defeat to No. 3 Texas on Tuesday in which the Panthers were tied at 51 with 10:48 remaining before being outscored 27-11.
This time, the Panthers outscored Youngstown State 30-14 over the final 12 minutes as Nasir Robinson finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"We handled coming off a loss pretty good," Wanamaker said. "We should have played better. We needed to play better `D' than we played."
The Penguins (3-3), led by Kelvin Bright's 20 points and DeAndre Mays' 16, trailed 26-15 in the first half and 40-33 early in the second half before tying it at 42.
"We made some adjustments in attacking their zone and we got better shots in the second half," Dixon said. "We told our perimeter guys to get better penetration."
Gibbs' 15-foot jumper with 11:52 remaining put the Panthers up for good at 44-42, and McGhee scored inside. Gibbs, Pitt's best outside shooter but closely guarded most of the game, followed with consecutive 3-pointers in less than a minute to make it 52-42.
Gibbs missed his other five attempts from 3-point range and was 4 of 13 overall.
"When I hit those two 3s, I was just taking advantage of what the defense was giving me," Gibbs said. "My teammates did a good job in helping me get those open shots. That was the first time I was left wide open in the game."
Pitt led 38-22 in rebounds, limiting the Penguins to eight in the first half as McGhee reached double figures in scoring and rebounding for the second successive game. The junior had not previously done so in his career until getting 11 points and 10 rebounds against Texas.
"The last few games our coaches have been telling us to rebound better and be more aggressive on the glass," McGhee said. "We came out of a time-out after the game got close and we know we needed to pick it up."
The Penguins' shooting fell off in the second half, when they were 33 percent (9 of 27) from the field after going 12 of 24 (50 percent) in the first half. They also made only nine of 17 free throws.
"I thought we played good for 30 minutes," Penguins coach Jerry Slocum said. "The last 10 minutes we missed some free throws, and the way we played in the last 10 minutes was the difference in the game. Our execution was encouraging in the first half, discouraging in the second half."
The Penguins lost previously this season to Xavier 83-57 and Kent State 70-61. Pitt is 6-1 against Youngstown State, with its only loss occurring in 1976.
The Panthers played their sixth consecutive game without guard Jermaine Dixon (broken right foot), their only returning starter. He could return within the next week to 10 days.