Pitt played pretty well from start to finish in a blowout 78-63 win against UConn on Monday night. The game was the Big East opener for both teams and this was a big win for Pitt. With the win over the No. 4 Huskies, the Panthers knocked off the top rated team in the conference.
One thing I’ve been critical about has been Pitt’s inability to play with and maintain a lead in several games this year. That wasn’t the case tonight as Pitt held a pretty comfortable lead throughout and never let Connecticut get too close for much of the game.
Kemba Walker showed up in a big way and was certainly as good as advertised. He scored 31 points and had four rebounds and five steals. Pitt was never able to find an answer for him defensively and had he had even a bit of help, the game would have been closer. It also didn’t help that the team as a whole shot a dismal 32% from the field.
Pitt was the exact opposite of UConn in that regard. The team won this game with its depth and balance. Eight players scored and four reached double figures. No one player dominated and guys stepped up when they needed to. Ashton Gibbs, like he’s done so many times, led Pitt in scoring with 21 points. But the real heroes may have been Gary McGhee and Nasir Robinson who both had double doubles and a variety of hustle plays.
The Panthers now get a much-deserved rest this week and don’t play again until a matchup with surprising Providence. Pitt will obviously move ahead of UConn in the polls and their dominating win may be enough to even leapfrog another team.