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Pitt vs. Lehigh: Panthers' 78-53 win sends team to New York for game against Michigan

Pitt was tested early by Lehigh on Tuesday night with only a 35-30 halftime advantage. But after a 14-5 run, the Panthers broke things wide open and never looked back in a 78-53 victory.

Leading the way were Pitt's upperclassmen. Starters Tray Woodall and Talib Zanna combined for 43 points and Dante Taylor led the team in rebounding with ten off the bench. Highly touted Lehigh senior C.J. McCollum had a solid night, but his 17 points were well below his season average entering the game. Freshman James Robinson drew the assignment to guard him much of the game, and did a fairly good job. Robinson's offense took a bit of a hit, though, as he was only 1-8 from the field.

Pitt's bench also continued its strong play. The unit had 24 points, led by Durand Johnson's nine. The Panthers are playing ten guys right now and since all are contributing, that might stay the same for much of the season. Pitt could legitimately become one of the deepest teams in the country.

The win moves Pitt into the Final Four of the NIT Season Tip-off and next up for the Panthers is a date against No. 5 Michigan next week. If the Panthers can avoid a letdown against Oakland this weekend, a win over the Wolverines would surely move them into the Top 25.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.