After a sloppy first half that saw both teams play below expectations, the Panthers and Mountaineers rebounded from their poor starts. But in the end, Pitt was too much for the home team, winning 71-66 on the road.
Both teams shot under 40% in the first half, but it was the Panthers who shot only 29% that made the biggest adjustment. Pitt went to the basket more instead of settling for jump shots and shot more than 60% from the field in the second half.
All eyes of Pitt fans were on Travon Woodall, who was filling in for the injured Ashton Gibbs. Woodall had a first half to forget, going 1-6 from the field for only four points. But he found his shot in the second as he finished 4-11 and had 12 points, three assists, and two steals. Woodall also hit the team’s only three-pointer of the game late in the second half and had only one turnover.
On the West Virginia side, Pitt simply couldn’t stop Deniz Kilicli who had a career-high 19 points in 26 minutes. Jamie Dixon doesn’t deserve much criticism, but his refusal to double-team Kilicli allowed him to constantly shoot a modified hook shot over Gary McGhee time after time. One of the few times Pitt was able to stop Kilicli was on a foul that wasn’t called.
As expected, Bob Huggins went to Casey Mitchell a bit more in this game, playing him for 24 minutes. Mitchell played only 13 minutes in his first game back from suspension on Saturday against Villanova. Mitchell, though, struggled shooting only 2-10 from the field.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Pitt takes on Villanova while West Virginia faces DePaul.
For more post-game analysis check out the game recap at SB Nation Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.