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Pitt Vs. Rutgers: Pitt Victorious, 65-62

On a day when more than ten top 25 teams fell, Pitt narrowly escaped New Jersey with a win against unranked Rutgers.

The victory gave Pitt its tenth consecutive 20-win season.

Five days after suffering their second loss of the season, Pitt had to rally to fight off a third. In the end, they came away with a 65-62 win on the road at Rutgers. The RAC is always a tough place to play, but the crowd seemed particularly animated tonight.

The offense sputtered, shooting poorly in the first half and only 35.6% in the game. That struggling offense was boosted by its trips to the free throw line, however. Pitt had 17 more attempts than the home team and while the stripe usually a trouble spot for the team, the Panthers buckled down and shot 80% for the night, including making its last eight straight shots.

While Gary McGhee had another good game for the Panthers tying his career-high of 13 points, Pitt easily loses this game without Ashton Gibbs. Gibbs also tied his career-high of 24 points on 7-14 shooting (4-9 from three-point range) with 15 coming in the first half. His biggest bucket came when he hit an NBA range three-pointer to give Pitt a four-point lead with about a minute to play.

Despite this being a subpar victory, this game actually showed just how good Pitt is. A win in a hostile environment while playing horribly has to count for something.

Pitt now has a full week off before facing upstart Cincinnat at home next Saturday.

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

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