During the game, it seemed like Long Beach State had layup after layup. ESPN’s play-by-play of the game showed that was pretty accurate.
The 49ers had an astounding 23 of 32 made shots come via layup, dunk, or tip in. That comes out to more than 70% and giving up that many easy shots shows that Pitt simply didn’t get back in transition and didn’t play great defense. This was evident in watching the game and the numbers back that up.
The Panthers, on the other hand, scored only 41% of their points by those methods. Approximately 60% of Pitt’s made shots were jumpers or three-pointers. Pitt shot a pedestrian 46% from the field and that was partially due to the fact that they settled for longer shots rather than trying to get the ball inside as Long Beach State did.
This clearly wasn’t the only factor in Pitt’s defeat, but it was a big one. Pitt lost the rebounding battle and had absolutely no support from the bench as well, but allowing so many easy shots definitely gives the other team a clear advantage. By working less on offense, they were able to conserve energy to play better defense and … force Pitt into jump shots.