Any notion that the Panthers would be looking past Seton Hall to their matchup against Syracuse on Monday was squashed a few minutes into this game. Pitt started off a bit slowly, but took a 9-7 lead five minutes into the game and never looked back, defeating the Pirates 74-53.
The Panthers’ balance was on display Saturday with nine players scoring at least six points. But again, the theme was rebounding and defense.
Pitt crushed Seton Hall on the glass, winning the rebounding battle by 19. The Panthers also held Seton Hall to only 18 first-half points in building a 15-point halftime lead. Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell, one of the conference's leading scorers with 23 points per game, was held to only nine on 3-13 shooting.
No one scored a ton of points for Pitt and the team’s leading scorer, Ashton Gibbs, also was a dismal 3-13 from the field and only had eight points. But Gary McGhee led Pitt with 13 points and nine rebounds and Brad Wanamaker also chipped in a near triple-double as he totaled nine points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Former Pitt recruit and Pittsburgh native Herb Pope led Seton Hall with a double double, 15 points and ten rebounds.
One thing to keep an eye on is to see how Jamie Dixon uses J.J. Moore down the stretch. It was looking as if Moore may be dropped out of the main rotation as he hadn’t played in the past two games. Moore played a good bit on Saturday and had six points, but most if not all of his minutes were in the second half. Moore could be someone that plays if a starter gets into foul trouble, but it’s conceivable that he slips out of the rotation – especially in close games.
Pitt now only gets a day off before facing Syracuse in a battle of top five teams on Monday night.
For more post-game analysis, check out SB Nation Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.