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Pitt notebook: Moore gets hot at right time

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Saturday, March 9, 2013, 9:15 p.m.

ROSEMONT, Ill. — J.J. Moore celebrates his 3-pointers with a signature salute that, along with his high-flying dunks, make him a favorite of the Oakland Zoo.

Pitt saluted back Saturday, after Moore went 8 for 8 from the field with five 3-pointers in 19 minutes in an 81-66 victory over DePaul.

Moore tied Charles Smith and Dante Taylor for Pitt's third-best shooting performance. Brian Shorter set the school record (11 for 11) against Providence on Feb. 10, 1990.

The Panthers expected a big season out of the 6-foot-6 junior forward, especially from beyond the arc. But he had made only 22 of 74 3-point attempts (29.7 percent) and hadn't made more than two in a game since sinking three in scoring 14 points Jan. 5 at Rutgers.

“We just tell him to take good shots and stay with it and shoot it,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “It's been something we've really hoped, (that) he would be a guy that would stretch the floor for us and shoot a higher percentage. I guess if this is the time it starts happening, it comes at a good time.”

Confident to a ‘T'

Moore said he felt confident in his shot during pregame warmups, and it carried over into the game.

Moore got so confident he drew a technical with 12:28 left for taunting after a 3.

“I have to try to keep it down, be more composed and keep my head,” he said.

Playing through pain

After missing the Villanova game with a sprained left ankle, Steven Adams had eight points, four rebounds and a block in 21 minutes.

The first time Adams came out of the game, he took off his left shoe and tried to loosen his ankle. The freshman center didn't practice until Friday.

“I could have had reservations, but he wasn't going to listen to me anyway,” Dixon said. “He looked fine in practice but I thought he was hampered a little bit watching him today at times.”

Dixon said guard Tray Woodall also “jammed his knee” before halftime.

“We've got guys banged up,” Dixon said. “You get a bye week and think you're going to get healthy, and you get more unhealthy.”

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