For the first time in more than a month, the Panthers found a way to win a basketball game. Never mind that it came against Providence, one of the conference’s lesser teams. The fact that Pitt was able to get any win was impressive.
The Panthers looked much better than the team we’ve seen over the past eight games where they’ve gone winless. Shots started failing and the team was able to hold onto the ball.
Ashton Gibbs led the way, dropping 22 points, but the real story was the play of Tray Woodall. Woodall, playing in his second game back from injury, looked more like the player we’d seen earlier this season. He had 17 points and nine assists to only one turnover the entire night. If you were wondering how much his absence hurt, you got a good idea of it tonight. Woodall wasn’t the only reason Pitt played well, but his offensive production made a huge difference.
Pitt tried to make things interesting, allowing the Friars to cut the lead eight late in the second half after they held a 16-point lead. But in the end, they were able to hang on for their first Big East win.
Where do the Panthers go from here? Eh, I’m not sure. It’s still only one win and Pitt is 1-7 in Big East play. There’s no way around it – that’s horrific. But if you’re looking for a bright spot, there are still ten games left in the regular season. The Panthers have a long way to go to even sniff a postseason appearance, but there’s still some time left.
For more on Pitt basketball and the game, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.