After dropping Game 1 of the Best of Three series against Washington State in the CBI Tournament, Pitt heads home to take on the Cougars on Wednesday night. Having lost that first game, the Panthers have their backs up against the wall and are in an elimination scenario.
Pitt played a decent game on Monday night, but after starting well, faltered a bit in the second half. They had plenty of chances to win (four in the final six seconds), but couldn’t convert, missing a free throw, layup attempt, and two shots from the field.
The Panthers also had a bit of a break as Washington State was playing without star forward Brock Motum. Motum was injured in the team’s win against Oregon State last week and missed the Pitt contest, but could be ready to go on Wednesday. If that’s the case, the Panthers will need to play that much harder.
Pitt has gotten several big contributions from unlikely sources, but one player who needs to step up is Ashton Gibbs. Gibbs has struggled all year and he hasn’t even reached his season average in any of the four CBI games. Gibbs has only seven points in the last two games and is averaging only about seven points a game for the tournament.
The Panthers have proven they can without Gibbs, but they would be a much better team with even a small increase in production from their leading scorer.
For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation blog, Cardiac Hill.