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Wagner Vs. Pitt: Panthers Out Of Focus In Rare Home Defeat

In the final non-conference season of the year, Pitt laid an egg and was upset by visiting Wagner. The Seahawks entered the game 7-3 and had been playing well, but Pitt simply looked awful in this one.

For a while, neither team seemed as if they wanted to win. With every missed Wagner shot (they had only two field goals within an approximate ten-minute stretch), Pitt failed to capitalize, turning the ball over and missing shot after shot of its own.

The Panthers played arguably their worst game of the season, hitting only about 40 percent of their shots. Pitt showed that they clearly are lacking another go to scorer in this one. Ashton Gibbs struggled mightily – even though he ended up with 14 points, he shot only 5-for-15 from the field and was held scoreless in the first half. The Panthers are clearly missing Tray Woodall and tonight it was wildly evident.

Not only did Pitt shoot poorly from the field, they also couldn’t hang onto the ball and made a number of sloppy turnovers. Part of that was due to Wagner’s full-court pressure throughout the game, but Pitt also did their part by committing turnovers even when no pressure occurred.

Pitt was able to make things interesting, pressuring Wagner into a would-be turnover when they were only down by three, but J.J. Moore committed a costly foul as the ball was sailing out of bounds. Wagner hit the ensuing free throws and after some misses by Pitt, wrapped up the game.

The Panthers simply didn’t look all that interested in playing a good game tonight. Whether it was because of Christmas break or not, Jamie Dixon’s squad didn’t display any type of urgency in this one until the final minutes. Clearly, this squad has some work to do to get ready for the Big East season … which is here now.

For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

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