Pittsburgh opened up a double-digit lead early in its Big East Tournament quarterfinal game against Connecticut on Thursday, but scrappy play by the Huskies to keep up with the Panthers' hot shooting kept them in the game and they now trail only 41-40 as the teams enter halftime at Madison Square Garden.
The Panthers were hot shooting the ball, ripping off a 60 percent average from the field to start the game, including a 4-for-5 performance from behind the 3-point line. Aston Gibbs already has 16 points. Nasir Robinson and Gilbert Brown each tallied seven in the half and Brad Wannamaker had six.
For the Huskies, first team All-Big East selection Kemba Walker led the way with 13 points and Jeremy Lamb contributed eight. Three other Huskies have five points each.
Pittsburgh out shot the Huskies from both the 3-point line and the field in the first half. They also kept the rebounding margin even at 11 boards a piece. The Panthers' undoing was turnovers. Seven in the half led to several Connecticut run outs in transition. Coach Jamie Dixon wasn't pleased about that heading into the locker room.
"We've got to take care of the ball," Dixon said. "Then obviously get our guys back."