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Pitt Vs. Maryland: Panthers Outlast Terps, Will Face Illinois/Texas Winner

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It wasn't real pretty, especially in the first half, but Pitt defeated Maryland in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden, 79-70.

The Panthers started out slow. Real slow.

Heck, the whole game started out pretty slow. About five minutes in, the score was only 13-13 halfway through the first half. But Pitt was especially off, shooting only about 30% from the field in that first half.

The offense wasn't real good, but Pitt's trademark rebounding showed up and that's ultimately what probably won the game. Pitt had a +8 rebounding advantage at halftime and despite Maryland shooting about 15% better than the Panthers, Pitt still held a four-point halftime lead. By the end of the game, Pitt had won the batle on the glass 43-23.

The game also marked the return of Nasir Robinson. He played a bit, but didn't start. The real question should be will he start? Talib Zanna is as good as advertised and will only get better as the season goes along. He had 14 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, and a block tonight and was Pitt's best player.

Pitt played better in the second half, but Maryland had its chances to win the game. Unfortunately for the Terps, they only shot 14-30 from the free throw line and that basically sealed their fate.

The Panthers now get the winner of the Illinois/Texas game Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

For more post-game analysis, check out the Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

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