The Panthers overcame a furious comeback by Texas at the end of Friday’s game to win the 2K Sports Classic, 68-66.
Pitt had several significant leads, but could not hold any of them as Texas rallied each time. Texas had a chance to win the game as they held the last possession, but a poor final shot by Cory Joseph sealed their fate.
Ashton Gibbs was the star of the show, scoring 24 for the Panthers. He was the only Pitt player in double figures. 19 of those points came in the second half on his trademark quick release shot. Gibbs seemed to really take the team on his back as he was scoring even while being guarded pretty closely.
Brad Wanamaker, Pitt’s other starting guard, had a dismal night. He ended with a nice line in the box score (nine points, seven rebounds, five assists), but he shot only 4-13 from the field missing layup after layup. He also had a costly turnover late, that allowed Texas to cut Pitt’s lead to two. A bright spot from Wanamaker’s game is he is getting to the basket with regularity this year. That only counts for so much, though. You simply can’t miss layups.
Jordan Hamilton for Texas was every bit as good as advertised. He had a career-high 28 points and added eight rebounds.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field (Pitt – 43%, Texas 40%) in this fairly sloppy game. Pitt was also outrebounded (34-33) for the first time this season.
The Panthers now have four more days to go before facing local school Robert Morris at home.