Pitt returned home for the first time nearly two weeks and after a loss and a close win, returned to form in a nice win against Cincinnati, winning 71-59 on Saturday.
The game was never in doubt as Pitt jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Panthers held leads of 20-points for a good part of the game until Cincinnati came back late to make the score look respectable.
Pitt was a bit short-handed in missing Dante Taylor, who missed practice time this week with a knee injury, and Lamar Patterson, who has been reportedly involved in a incident where he skipped out on a restaurant bill. But that was nothing compared to what Cincinnati had to deal with in missing its best player in Yancey Gates who was suspended for a violation of team rules.
Ashton Gibbs led the way tying his career-high of 25 points on 7-11 shooting (including a perfect 5-5 from three-point range) for Pitt. Meanwhile, the Bearcats’ offense sputtered for most of the night. No starter scored more than seven points and while reserve guard did have a team-high 13 points, he shot only 6-17 from the field to get there.
The biggest thing Pitt fans can take away from this win is that after having two games in a row where they were poor offensively, the team was much more crisp against Cincinnati. Pitt now holds a two-game lead in the Big East conference and has another short turnaround, facing West Virginia on the road on Monday.
For more post-game analysis, check out SB Nation Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.