No, this isn’t a typo – Pitt was ripped at home for only their second ever non-conference loss at The Pete by the 49ers, 86 to 76. Seriously, raise your hand if you knew Long Beach State’s nickname was the 49ers. The Panthers apparently didn’t, either, as they were wholly unprepared for this matchup.
Pitt fell behind early and, surprisingly, could never recover. Long Beach State repeatedly made big shots every time Pitt managed to cut the lead down and were not even slightly rattled by the Oakland Zoo.
Over at Cardiac Hill, I ripped the Zoo a bit after the Albany win for leaving early. Truth be told, though, they did a great job in this game, cheering loudly for Pitt even when they fell behind in double digits. But in the end, the 49ers, a senior-led team, were too tough.
The Panthers played the poorest transition defense I can remember and clearly were not the better team on the court tonight. Long Beach State had six players score at least eight points, but the star of the game was Casper Ware, who had a career-high 28 points. Pitt got good production from its starters, but the bench was non-existent, scoring only two points.
The other problem for Pitt is that they not only failed to produce their trademark big margin on the boards, but they lost the rebounding battle 26-25.
The Panthers did make a final push at the end, getting to within six points, but it was too little too late. It will be interesting to see where Pitt goes from here. I expect Long Beach State to have a good season, but to lose at home in the manner they did was unexpected to say the least.