For the first time in a while, Pitt’s offense clicked on all cylinders in an 89-69 win against St. John’s at home on senior night. In the final regular season game for seniors Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson, the Panthers looked as good as they have all season.
Heading into the game, St. John’s was the hot team, having won three straight games. Pitt had been on a five-game slide, but was able to turn things around against the Red Storm by shooting the lights out offensively. The Panthers shot nearly 70% from the field in the blowout win.
Gibbs led the way with 19 points and Robinson chipped in eight points and four rebounds, making all three of his shots. But the real story of the game was Dante Taylor, who played one of his best games as a Panther. Taylor got the start and scored 17 points on 8-8 shooting and also pulled down eight rebounds.
We’ve been over Taylor’s wild inconsistencies before, but if he can ever find a way to turn it around, he could be a good player. He’ll get his chance to shine next season when he’s a senior himself.
Somewhat lost in all the hype around Gibbs and Robinson was the fact that little-used walk-on Nick Rivers also played in his final game. Rivers entered the game with just under two minutes left to the delight of the fans and was able to get to the free throw line to score a point.
Pitt has one more regular season game and will head to Connecticut to face the Huskies on the road on Saturday. Even if the Panthers find a way to win, an NCAA Tournament bid is still highly unlikely without a very deep Big East Tournament run. At 16-14, an NIT bid isn’t even a guarantee at this point.
For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation blog, Cardiac Hill.