Pitt once again can't solve Marquette
MILWAUKEE — Marquette couldn't miss, or so it seemed. Pitt couldn't stop the Golden Eagles from scoring, no matter what it tried.
The result was a mathematical mismatch, one that Panthers coach Jamie Dixon could hardly fathom, as No. 18 Marquette shot its way to a 79-69 victory over No. 16 Pitt on Saturday at Bradley Center to sweep their Big East season series.
The Golden Eagles (18-6, 9-3) destroyed Dixon's game plan by shooting 61.5 percent from the field in the first half and 56.5 percent for the game, won a 33-24 rebounding edge and sank 22 of 29 free throws to extend its home winning streak to 23 games, fourth longest in the nation.
“There were three things we wanted to do. Hold them under 40 percent defensively. We didn't come close to that. We wanted to keep them off the free-throw line. We certainly didn't come close to that. And obviously we got outrebounded,” Dixon said. “Simply put, a 10-point loss is pretty easy to see, given those numbers. Those are things that we do well, but we didn't.”
It was the most lopsided loss of the season for Pitt (20-6, 8-5), which allowed its most points this season. It marked only the third time the Panthers allowed 70 points or more, and two of those games have come against Marquette. The other was a 74-67 overtime loss Jan. 12 in which the Golden Eagles scored 57 in regulation.
In between, the Panthers won seven of eight, losing only at Louisville.
“I think if I were to say our best performance on the road in Big East play, it would be at Pitt, and I'd say our best performance at home in a Big East game thus far would be Pitt,” said Marquette coach Buzz Williams, who called the Panthers “one of the top two or three teams in our league.”
Where the win moved Marquette into a first-place tie with Georgetown in Big East standings, the defeat dropped the Panthers into a fifth-place tie with Notre Dame (20-6, 8-5), which visits Pitt at 7 p.m. Monday at Petersen Events Center. What's worse, the Fighting Irish have won four consecutive and five of six against Pitt, dating to 2008.
Marquette relied upon the dead-eye shooting of guards Vander Blue and Trent Lockett, who combined to make 9 of 10 shots, to take a 42-29 halftime lead. Pitt trailed by 10 when Lockett scored as the shot clock sounded, but the Panthers used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 28-25. Lockett answered with a 3-pointer, and Marquette finished the half on an 11-2 run, including a 3-pointer by Jamil Wilson, three free throws by Todd Mayo and a 3-pointer by Blue with 27.4 seconds left.
Blue scored a game-high 19 points, making 7 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 free throws. Wilson had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Lockett finished with 11. Backup center Davante Gardner added 14 points, as Marquette's bench outscored Pitt, 39-26.
“They made shots all the way through, the entire half,” Dixon said. “I think we were staying in it with our offense, not with our defense. Eventually it caught up to us.”
Pitt fell behind by double digits and trailed by as many as 18 points despite outscoring the Golden Eagles, 40-37, in the second half. Lamar Patterson led the Panthers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, and Tray Woodall added 10 points, eight assists and two steals.
“It's tough,” Woodall said. “They're at home, they're feeling the crowd, and they did a good job of hitting shots early. It was tough for us to come back, but we fought.”
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.
- Injured DT Render missing from Pitt depth chart
- Brashear cornerback Coleman picks Pitt
- Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
- College football preview: ACC
- Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Pitt junior RB Ibrahim out for season with Achilles injury
- Pitt’s run-stuffing defensive line all ready to make a stand
- Woodland Hills pipeline a great fit for Pitt defense this season
- Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt