Dec. 6, 2008
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (AP) - Sam Young scored 28 points and No. 3 Pittsburgh held Vermont scoreless for more than four minutes at the start while opening a 13-point lead and eased to an 80-51 victory Saturday night to remain unbeaten.
DeJuan Blair helped Pitt quickly establish control inside and finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds in only 23 minutes. Young also had nine rebounds. Tyrell Biggs added 10 points as Pitt coach Jamie Dixon took advantage of his team's big leads to spread playing time among 11 players by early in the second half.
The Panthers (9-0) led 13-0, 20-5 and 33-15 before making it 41-19 at the half on Biggs' 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer.
Pitt, which doesn't play again until next Saturday, has started at least 10-0 in each of Dixon's five previous seasons and is 9-0 for the seventh straight season.
Vermont (4-3) had won two of its four most recent games against ranked teams dating to their upset of Syracuse in the NCAA tournament in March 2005, but the Panthers were too strong and physical inside - just as they have been while winning their first nine games by an average of 21.6 points.
The Panthers' smallest margin of victory while playing a schedule that has not included a ranked opponent is 13 points (80-67) against Texas Tech.
Pitt won its 35th straight at home against a nonconference opponent.
Vermont's tallest starter, 6-foot-8 Colin McIntosh, was lifted after drawing his second foul 1:31 into the game, giving the Panthers an even greater advantage inside. After that, 21 of Pitt's next 23 points came from inside players.
McIntosh, who came in averaging 14.7 points, fouled out with 4:07 remaining after being held to four points. Marqus Blakely scored 19 points and reserve Joey Accaoui added 10, but the Catamounts shot only 27.4 percent (17-of-62) after shooting 50 percent in their first six games.
The 6-7 Blair had double figures in points and rebounds for the sixth time in nine games and is averaging 13.2 points and 11.9 rebounds.
Young, who jumped his scoring average by nearly nine points per game from his sophomore to junior seasons, is averaging 24.6 points over his last four games and 20.8 for the season - up from 18.1 last season. He has scored 20 or more five times.