Hot-shooting Pitt routs Mount St. Mary's in opener
Pitt shot a school-record 70.8 percent from the field in a season-opening 80-48 win over Mount St. Mary's on Friday at Petersen Events Center.
Junior forward Talib Zanna scored a career-high 20 points, and senior guard Tray Woodall finished with 14 points, six assists and three turnovers, as the Panthers scored 58 of their points in the paint and shot just 1 of 6 from 3-point range.
Their previous record for field goal percentage was 69.8 percent, set against George Washington in 1980.
“Offensively you just look at the numbers, you can't do too much better than that,” coach Jamie Dixon said. “Seventy-one percent, only eight turnovers, rebound half our misses. That's pretty efficient, so some really good things on that end.”
The Panthers, who shot 34 of 48 from the field, have won 17 consecutive season openers and 22 of the last 23.
Guard James Robinson and center Steven Adams started for Pitt, marking the first time since Jan. 6, 2004, the Panthers started two freshmen. Robinson finished with six points and four rebounds, and Adams added eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Sophomore guard Cam Wright played despite the death of his father, Kevin, on Friday morning following a long illness. Wright had eight points and three rebounds.
“I remember when Cam told me he'd been diagnosed with brain cancer,” Dixon said. “He said he wanted to play, his mom said he wanted to play and his dad would want him to play. The players all rallied around him and it was tough, but I thought he played really well. He wanted to do it for his dad, and I told him afterward his dad was very proud of him.”
Mount St. Mary's kept the game close early on by relying on strong 3-point shooting. It hit its sixth shot from long range to take an 18-17 lead eight minutes into the game.
Pitt called a timeout, tied the game on a free throw and then took a 20-18 lead on a layup by Woodall. The Mountaineers never led again.
Pitt held Mount St. Mary's to four points in the final eight minutes of the first half and led, 42-27, at halftime.
The Panthers, who saw their string of 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances snapped last season, opened the second half with a 12-0 run, including six points from Zanna, during which time Mount St. Mary's turned the ball over five times.
“Defensively we didn't execute the way we thought we could and the way we thought we would,” first-year Mount St. Mary's coach Jamion Christian said.
“If there's a disappointment, that's it. And Talib Zanna, how much has he improved in his time here at Pitt? He looks unbelievable. I've seen him play since he was a junior in high school, and he's really starting to become the player that we all thought he could be.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jamie’s Dream Team founder says she will press on despite new illness
- North Versailles Township approves $6.79 million budget that keeps tax rates flat
- Hospital finances still crying ‘ouch’
- Rossi: Brawl for ADs between Pitt and WVU
- Rain can’t dampen ‘Let it Snow’ at Seton Hill campus
- Nonprofit hospitals in Western Pa. feel pain in finances despite Affordable Care Act
- Trials ordered for two charged in Monongahela mugging case
- Harmar to consider offer to drill under township land
- Steelers must be creative in providing snaps for linebackers
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime
- Normalville church performs Christmas play