Pitt Basketball Rolls In Ireland

Gilbert Brown and Pitt basketball return to action in Ireland.

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Pitt Concludes Ireland Tour With Win

Pitt won its final game of the Ireland Tour, beating the English National Team 82-69. The Panthers finished the tour a perfect 6-0.

Talib Zanna led the Panthers with team-highs of 13 points and 9 rebounds. Ashton Gibbs and Travon Woodall also chipped in with 13 points. England started the game shooting a woeful 12% from the field and could never fully recover.

Overall, Pitt was not challenged all that much and played well over the course of the trip. The team shot 49% from the field and averaged 94 points per game. Gilbert Brown and Dante Taylor led the team in points and rebounds respectively. This time hopefully allowed the team to gel a bit and Dixon’s use of multiple lineups should benefit the team in the long run.

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Despite Trailing At Halftime, Pitt Pulls Away For Fifth Straight Victory

Pitt faced its stiffest competition in facing the Melbourne Tigers on their most recent game in Ireland. The Panthers trailed 46-45 at halftime, before storming back for a 92-76 victory.

The Panthers were led by Ashton Gibbs and Gilbert Brown, who each scored 15 points. Brown also added seven rebounds and six assists. Pitt had four others in double figures in scoring including Brad Wanamaker, J.J. Moore, Travon Woodall, and Nasir Robinson.

Pitt’s final contest is Saturday against the English National team.

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Gilbert Brown and Dante Taylor Lead Pitt To 'Close' Win In Ireland

Pitt’s basketball team had its first semi-scare of their trip to Ireland, when they led by only nine at halftime and heading into the fourth quarter. At one point, their lead was cut to six. The Panthers got things turned around, though, and ended up with an 88-62 win over the Dart Killester Club Team.

It’s good to see Pitt endure some adversity and finishing +17 in the fourth quarter shows they responded positively.

Dante Taylor finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Gilbert Brown also added 14 and took home the Man of the Match Award (which one can only assume is an MVP award of sorts). Pitt will travel to Belfast and play the Melbourne Tigers on Friday.

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Pitt Beats Irish National Team Again, 110-61

Pitt defeated the Irish National Team for the second straight time and won their third game in Ireland, 110-61.

The surprise may have again been the play of J.J. Moore, who led the team in scoring with 14 points. Moore was one of five Panthers in double figures in scoring. He also appears to be playing pretty agressively – his 12 FG attempts were five more than anyone else on the team.

Fans again saw a different starting lineup and it’s easy to see coach Jamie Dixon is doing his best to see what kind of chemistry might exist between his players. Starting tonight’s game were Moore, Gary McGhee, J.J. Richardson, Gilbert Brown, and Ashton Gibbs.

Pitt outshot the Irish National Team 54% – 30% from the field and again more than doubled them up on the boards, winning the rebounding battle 56-20. One thing the Panthers did not do well apparently was stay out of foul trouble.

Despite winning by nearly 50 points, they committed 22 fouls allowing the Irish team to shoot 31 free throws. That’s likely more on the refereeing than it is the Panthers themselves. Pitt plays a physical style and non-Big East referees are more likely to call fouls.

Pitt next plays Wednesday night against the Dart Killester Club Team.

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Panthers Take A Break To Meet With Rooneys

Pitt took a break from play to meet with Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and his wife Patricia. Mr. Rooney is the U.S. ambassador to Ireland and Patricia graduated from Pitt.

Director of Media Relations, Greg Hotchkiss, reflected a litttle on the day and the greeting by the Rooneys:

Mr. Rooney first ascended to the podium and addressed his guests with some inspiring words. His message was that “all of us are ambassadors for the United States” and that “all of our actions reflect on how we are viewed as Americans.” Mrs. Rooney talked about what an honor it was to host the Pitt Basketball team since she is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.

The team geared up for another game vs. the Irish National Team tonight.

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Freshman J.J. Moore Leads Pitt To Second Win, 92-52 Over South Regional All-Stars

In what could be a small glimpse of things to come, Pitt freshman J.J. Moore, led the basketball team to its second straight win on its Ireland tour. The Panthers defeated the South Regional All-Stars 92-52 with Moore scoring a team-high 14 points. Minutes were again spread out and everyone saw playing time. Talib Zanna had his second consecutive strong game, going 5-5 from the field, scoring 10 points, and grabbing 11 rebounds. Gilbert Brown also added 10 points.

Pitt was able to cut its turnovers down a bit from the opening contest, commiting only 12. The team again shot well at 49% from the field and 45% from three-point range.

Ireland tried to play from the outside, hoisting 27 three-point shots, likely because their tallest player was 6’6". Unfortunately, they only connected on nine, and that contributed to Pitt’s astounding rebound total of 61 for the game (Zanna – 11, Dante Taylor – 7, Nasir Robinson – 8, Gary McGhee – 7, J.J. Richardson – 8) – more than double Ireland’s 30.

Of partial note for Pitt fans was that Dante Taylor started at center. That shouldn’t be taken that he will be the starter this year, however. Lamar Patterson also started and Ashton Gibbs did not – neither of which will be likely during the season. But I do think that Taylor playing at center means there’s a chance he’ll be there again during regular season. He could also find time at power forward, but it appears that he’ll be at the five once again this year.

Here’s the box score from today’s game.

Next up is a reception on Monday with Steelers owner and the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney. The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday when they again play the Irish National Team.

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Pitt Basketball Rolls In Opener

The Pitt men's basketball team rolled over the Irish National team 99-54 in its opener in front of 1,650 people during its tour of Ireland. The Panthers played nearly perfectly, shooting over 50% from the field and exactly 50% from three-point range. Pitt also forced 22 turnovers, but committed 16 of its own.

Gilbert Brown led the team with 22 points (including hitting 4-6 three-pointers) while Ashton Gibbs chipped in 15. Pitt's freshmen, J.J. Moore, Cameron Wright, and Aron Nwankwo, were not eligible due to NCAA rules. However, the trio is expected to play in Sunday's game.

All 11 players saw equal minutes. So some players, including the much-improved duo of Dante Taylor and Gary McGhee, didn't put up big numbers (combining for only 13 points and 12 rebounds.)

Here's the full box score.

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