Pitt didn’t have much of a struggle against Maryland Eastern Shore tonight, leading by 15 at halftime and winning, 97-64.
It did take the Panthers a little bit of time to begin to pull away. The Panthers led only 26-22 with about six minutes left in the first half. But they opened up the 15-point halftime lead and began the second half hitting an amazing 17 of their first 20 shots.
Gilbert Brown showed exactly why he can be one of Pitt’s hardest players to figure out. He had an excellent game tonight, scoring a career-high 28 points. Games like these make him look like an NBA prospect, but he’s also capable of completely disappearing at times. When Brown is on, though, the team is on another level.
Pitt also got a good game from Gary McGhee, who finished with a double double, tallying ten points and ten rebounds. Tonight’s game marked the third in which McGhee recorded a double double this season and the first since the City game again Duquesne on December 1st.
One player who had an off night was Brad Wanamaker. Wanamaker, who averaged nearly 14 points per game, was held scoreless. He did, however, find other ways to get involved. He had six assists (to zero turnovers), three rebounds, and added a block and a steal.
Pitt now faces American University on Wednesday before a potential top matchup with UConn on the following Monday.
Pitt faces a dismal Maryland Eastern Shore team that comes to the Pete with a 2-7 record. Playing at home, the Panthers are already at an advantage. But since the team is coming off its first loss of the season at Tennessee, I don't expect them to start off slowly.
Maryland Eastern Shore ranks near the bottom of the NCAA in, well, almost everything ... scoring, rebounding, you name it.
The Hawks do, however, boast a pair of pretty decent junior guards - in Hillary Haley and Dishawn Bradshaw. Haley and Bradshaw are he team's top two scorers and they combine to average more than 25 points per game. Combine that with the fact that they like to throw up a lot of three point shots (more than 15 per game) and you could either have a close game or a blowout, depending on which way those shots fall. They only shoot about 31% from three-point range, so Pitt will more than likely have some open looks.
Maryland Eastern Shore does actually have one thing in common with Pitt - they're a pretty deep team. 11 of their players average at least seven points a game, so look for plenty of rotations.
Add it all up and all signs point to Pitt getting back on track with an easy home win.