With one half down, Pitt leads Butler in the CBI semifinals, 26-24.
The Panthers haven’t shown nearly the offensive skill as they did in their first two CBI wins against Wofford and Princeton. Part of that is undoubtedly due to playing against a fairly good team, but part has been the Panthers’ own doing, shooting just under 37% from the field missing a variety of inside shots.
Pitt star Ashton Gibbs is struggling the most. He’s 0-6 from the field and was held scoreless the entire half. Lamar Patterson, who’s played well this season, is also only 1-4.
One reason the Panthers find themselves still in the game is that Butler is playing even worse offensively. The Bulldogs are hitting fewer than 35% of their shots and are 2-9 from three-point range. Another reason for Pitt’s narrow lead is the excellent play from the bench. 19 of the team’s 26 points have come from the reserves and J.J. Moore is leading the way with ten points. His late three-pointer gave the Panthers a late lead going into the break.
This one is looking like a battle of which offense is the most deficient. The good news is that Pitt is still in it and a win would propel the Panthers into the finals.
For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation blog, Cardiac Hill.