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Pitt manhandles St. Francis (Pa.) in victory

The scoreboard at Petersen Events Center wasn't working throughout most of the first half of Pitt's 71-47 victory Tuesday night against St. Francis (Pa.), which suited losing coach Don Friday just fine.

"Maybe I would have had a darn stroke if I saw what the score was in some segments," he said.

Pitt dominated its Northeast Conference opponent from start to finish, scoring the game's first 13 points and building a 23-4 lead before the scoreboard flashed back to life with 8:18 left in the half.

The electronic malfunction was about the only drama the crowd of 8,325 experienced, as Pitt (11-1) won its ninth in a row.

"We may want to turn off the scoreboard more often," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.

Dixon was pleased with most aspects of the game, including reserve forward J.J. Moore getting 15 points. Moore came off the bench in place of Lamar Patterson, who ended up with 11.

"He's been playing hard, and he's working hard," Dixon said of Moore. "Lamar was banged up on the one play and wanted out, and Lamar has probably been one of our most steady guys.

"J.J. is going to be a really good player. At some point, they will be playing a lot together in the future."

Moore said he thought even before the opening tip it might be his night.

"I felt fired up on the layup line," he said.

The story of the game, however, was Pitt's clear edge in rebounding, defense and the size of its players. The Panthers were, simply, bigger and more physical than St. Francis, which is 0-29 all-time against Pitt.

"We need to eat better," sophomore center Scott Eatherton said.

Pitt, which never has lost to a Northeast Conference team in 70 games, is leading the nation in rebounding margin (12.9) and improved that number with a 42-21 edge off the glass.

"It's our strength," Dixon said. "We wanted to take advantage of that."

Dante Taylor, who scored 14 points, led Pitt with eight rebounds -- six of which were on offense. Nasir Robinson, still feeling the effects of two surgical procedures on his knee in the past year, had seven rebounds and six points in 25 minutes.

Pitt also hit 50 percent of its shots against St. Francis, which fell to 3-8.

"We did what we wanted to do against the 1-3-1 (defense)," Dixon said. "I thought we attacked it very well."

On the other end, Pitt's defensive effort continues a steady improvement, Dixon said.

Pitt has allowed 56, 68, 55 and 47 points in four of the past five games.

"We are headed in the right direction," he said. "Rebounding is part of defense, too. We did a pretty good job. They made some threes, and we had some breakdowns. You can't guard everything."

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