Pitt Vs. Tennessee: Panthers Hold On For 61-56 Win

Pitt lost to the Volunteers last year, but prevailed in their rematch Saturday.

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Pitt Vs. Tennessee: Panthers Bring Home Impressive Road Win

Pitt’s win on the surface looked like nothing more than a close win to a mediocre team, but in reality, it was a bit win for the team.

The Panthers were playing without starting point guard, Tray Woodall. You could even arguably make an outside case that Woodall has been the team’s best player thus far this year. He is the team’s second leading scorer behind Ashton Gibbs. But while Gibbs averages 19 points to his 14, Woodall has shot better than 50% from the field while Gibbs has struggled hitting less than 40% of his attempts. Woodall also leads the team in assists with more than eight per game and before his injury, was on pace to threaten the school’s single-season record.

In his place, Pitt started freshman Cameron Wright and along with Khem Birch, Jamie Dixon started two first-year players.

The game was also at Tennessee – a tough place to play in recent years.

Pitt didn’t look great in this game offensively, hitting only 42% of their shots. But the Panthers did something they couldn’t do against Duquesne earlier this week – take care of the ball. Pitt turned the ball over only six times and that was a big reason they were able to win the game.

The Panthers’ bench also outscored the Vols’, 17-6. Leading Tennessee’s meager bench effort, ironically, was Dwight Miller (four points) – a former Pitt player who transferred.

Picking up a win against Tennessee was big. This game kicked off a three game non-conference stretch including the Vols, VMI, and Oklahoma State. Pitt should be the favorite over the next two games, but shouldn’t look past either team. VMI probably won’t give Pitt too much trouble, but they’re one of the nation’s highest scoring teams, averaging nearly 85 points a game. The Panthers then face a respectable Oklahoma State team in Madison Square Garden next weekend. Getting a road win to kick off this stretch should help the team’s confidence as they prepare to play several games without the injured Woodall.

For more on Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.

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Pitt Vs. Tennessee Score: Nasir Robinson Leads Pitt To Close Win

Pitt played an uneven first half, but managed to hang on for a 61-56 victory over Tennessee Saturday night.

In doing so, Pitt avenged an 83-76 loss to the Volunteers almost a year ago.

Tennessee controlled the tempo of the game early on, but went to halftime with a one-point lead. The Volunteers grabbed a 31-27 lead with 16 minutes left to play, but Nasir Robinson and Dante Taylor keyed the Panthers’ comeback, and Pitt had a 40-35 lead with 12 minutes left.

From there, the Panthers never managed to put together a big lead, but Ashton Gibbs made some key baskets down the stretch, and Pitt never trailed in the last 13 minutes of the game.

Robinson had 16 points and 12 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass. Gibbs had 16 points as well, but needed 21 shots to accumulate them.

For more on the Panthers, be sure to check out Cardiac Hill.

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Pitt Vs. Tennessee Score: Panthers Struggle, But Lead 27-26 At Halftime

After the first half, Pitt has a 27-26 lead over Tennessee, but it’s a lead they had to struggle to get, and if the second half doesn’t look significantly different, it may also be hard for them to maintain.

It was the Volunteers who controlled the tempo of the game, often forcing the Panthers to allow their shot clock to dwindle. (The absence of point guard Tray Woodall, who the Panthers recently lost to injury, surely had something to do with that.) When the Panthers got opportunities, they often did take advantage of them (a well-defended three-pointer by John Johnson near the end of the half was an example of that), but Tennessee kept Pitt from having many good scoring chances. Tennessee, meanwhile, also looked much more confident on offense.

Nasir Robinson leads the Panthers with eight points. He also has four offensive rebounds. Ashton Gibbs has six points.

For more on Pitt basketball, check out Cardiac Hill.

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Pittsburgh Vs. Tennessee Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1) will be looking to win their fifth straight game when they travel to Knoxville to take on the Tennesse Volunteers (3-3), but Pitt will have to do so without the playmaking abilities of point guard Travon Woodall.

Woodall ranks fifth in the country in assists, at 8.3 per game, and also is second on the team in scoring, tallying 14.1 points per game, behind only Ashton Gibb's 19.1 average.

The Volunteers have hung tough in loses to Duke and Memphis, but are coming off a disappointing 89-81 loss to Oakland on Monday.

Here's everything you need to know about Saturday's matchup between Pittsburgh and Tennessee:

Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 3; 5:15 P.M. ET

Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN

TV Schedule
ESPN (Mark Jones and Len Elmore)

Radio Schedule

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Jim Colony and Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-136; XM-198 (Pitt feed).

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.

For more on the Panthers,  head over to Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pittsburgh blog. For the view from the other side, please visit Rocky Top Talk, SB Nation's Tennessee blog.

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