Hot perimeter shooting leads Pitt past Howard
As Pitt passed the ball around the perimeter early in the game Tuesday night, forward Lamar Patterson studied Howard's passive zone defense, one that seemed to suggest: Go ahead and shoot it from out there.
While not exactly a marksman this season — he made four of 17 3-point attempts in his first six games — Patterson embraced the open looks. And he left the Petersen Events Center with a performance that will boost his 3-point percentage quite a bit.
The redshirt junior sank all four of his first-half 3-point attempts and finished 5 of 8 from behind the arc during the Panthers' 70-46 win over the Bison. Patterson, who set career highs in 3-pointers and 3-point attempts, finished with 15 points to tie guard Tray Woodall for the team's top total.
“I didn't really change anything; today, it just fell,” Patterson said. “Four of 17, that's not like me.”
As a team, Pitt (6-1) made eight of 19 3-point attempts to tie a season high. It cooled considerably after a first half in which the Panthers made six of 10.
Howard (1-6) packed its defenders inside the 3-point line and challenged Pitt to shoot from outside during the first half. The Panthers obliged and lived with few regrets.
“I thought they really kind of set the tempo of the game with the zone, slowed us down,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.
Aside from Patterson, guard James Robinson also found a rhythm from 3-point range, as he drained both of his attempts.
A passive defensive scheme still paid off for the Bison, who had a 17-16 edge in rebounding, held Pitt to six field goals on 17 shots from 2-point range and only trailed, 36-28, at the break.
“We wanted to control the paint,” Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry said. “We thought we could control the paint in the zone, make them make eight or nine passes, make them think a little bit, make it look like the paint wasn't available.”
Howard's big men, center Alphonso Leary and forward Mike Phillips, upstaged Pitt's post players early in the game. Each scored 8 points in the opening half to help Howard finish with 24 points in the paint.
Pitt, meanwhile, had just 10 points in the paint. But the Panthers surged in the second half as their interior play improved, and they accumulated 32 points in the paint to Howards' 34 by the game's end. They still trailed by one in rebounds (37-36).
“The first half, we came out flat-footed. And (at halftime), we got yelled at by coach, so everybody was focused,” forward Talib Zanna said.
Zanna, held to 2 points in the first half, made all of his second half field goal attempts and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. And center Steven Adams, responsible for just one rebound in the first half, grabbed five off the glass in the second.
“The rebounding thing really stands out,” Dixon said. “It's something that should be a strength of ours but isn't right now. We spent two days addressing it, but it's just not getting done.”
Even as Howard continued to rebound well, Leary and Phillips' productivity faded. Each made just one field goal in the second half. Guard Simuel Frazier scored 8 second-half points to finish with a team-high 12 for Howard.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-543-1303.
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.
- Pitt upsets No. 8 Notre Dame to snap losing streak
- Pitt’s 2015 schedule includes 5 road games in 1st 7 games
- ND’s Grant an example for Pitt’s Johnson
- Dixon vows to fix Pitt’s long-distance dilemma
- Pitt’s Artis showing knack for picking up scoring slack
- Pitt notebook: Pitino: This year’s Pitt team not as talented as past years
- Pine-Richland’s DiNucci to Pitt; Kittanning’s Bowers opts for PSU
- Pitt adds Texas wide receiver as 16th commitment to Class of 2015
- Slumping Pitt keeps chin up
- Former WPIAL diving champ finds success at Pitt
- Pitt expecting to see zone defense on the road against Virginia Tech