Villanova Vs. Pitt: Tray Woodall, Ashton Gibbs Come Up Big In Fourth Straight Win

Tray Woodall and Ashton Gibbs combined for 54 points against Villanova Sunday.

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College Basketball Scores And Results: Pitt On A Roll, West Virginia Goes To OT

A busy weekend for college basketball around the area saw a couple wins for the Mountaineers and the Panthers.

The Mountaineers of West Virginia were playing a game in which they should have been favored, but they had a lot more trouble with the Providence Friars than the betting line might have suggested. It took 45 minutes, but the Mountaineers escaped with an 87-84 overtime win. Truck Bryant was the hero of the day, finishing with 32 points, including the game-clinching three-pointer from the top of the key.

The Pitt Panthers are enjoying a re-birth in Conference play. After starting out 0-7 in conference, the Panthers have won four straight games and continue to climb up the Conference rankings. They got a 79-70 win over intra-Pennsylvania rival Villanova over the weekend, led by Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall. Woodall had an explosive scoring performance with 29, while Gibbs provided 25 and his usual calming influence over the game.

For more on the Mountaineers, please head over to our West Virginia blog the Smoking Musket. And for more on the Panthers, you can check out our Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.

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Villanova Vs. Pitt Score: Free Throws (Yes, Free Throws) Lead Pitt To Victory

Usually when free throws enter the equation for Pitt, it’s not a good thing. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday as Pitt made a surprising 27-31 on their way to a 79-70 victory. The Panthers’ free throws accounted for 34 percent of their points, and it’s safe to say the game could have gone the other way had they failed to shoot an incredible 87 percent.

Leading the way were Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall, who were a perfect 19-of-19 from the stripe. The two combined for an amazing 54 points and were both 7-of-12 from the field. I’m not going to pretend I’ve seen all 300+ teams play this season, but Gibbs and Woodall have to be one of the best backcourts in the country. How Pitt fares the rest of the way this season will largely hinge on their effectiveness.

The one area the two need to get better? Turnovers. They had nine today (six by Woodall), and that’s too many. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the problem can get fixed by the end of the year. The Panthers have had games where they’ve taken care of the ball, but not with any great consistency.

It’s still too early to determine if Pitt can reach the NCAAs, but with each consecutive win, it’s looking more like a possibility.

The Panthers will now leave the confines of the Pete and head on the road for two crucial games this week. Pitt takes on South Florida on Wednesday and Seton Hall on Sunday.

For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation’s blog, Cardiac Hill.

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Villanova Vs. Pitt Final Score: Panthers' Revival Continues As Tray Woodall, Ashton Gibbs Pace 79-70 Win

Tray Woodall, Ashton Gibbs and the revived Pittsburgh Panthers reeled off another win on Sunday, beating Villanova 79-70 at the Pete. Woodall and Gibbs combined for about two-thirds of the Panthers’ points, with Woodall scoring 29 and Gibbs 25.

Villanova held the lead through much of the first half, and they were ahead by five points after two straight threes by James Bell with about eight minutes left before the teams headed to the locker room. That’s when Gibbs took over, however, draining bucket after bucket, and Pitt headed into the half with a 40-28 lead. 14 of those 40 points came from Gibbs.

The Panthers held Villanova at arm’s length through the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the Wildcats gradually narrowed the lead after that. A series of foul shots by Gibbs and Woodall (who went 12-of-12 from the line) finally put the game away for the Panthers.

The victory was the Panthers’ fourth straight, and they’re now 4-7 in the Big East. They travel to South Florida on Wednesday.

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