Pitt cruises past Texas Tech in Legends Classic
TribLIVE Sports Videos
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — So much for a challenge.
After winning its first four games by an average of 26.3 points, Pitt was expected to face its first test of the season against Texas Tech in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic.
Instead, the Panthers jumped out to a 26-point lead by the time the Red Raiders reached double digits, and ran away with a 76-53 victory Monday night at Barclays Center in their first road game of the season.
“We were just doing what we do: We played unselfish basketball, we took the open shots and we knocked down the shots,” said Pitt fifth-year senior Lamar Patterson, who scored a career-high 23 points. “Everything just clicked in the first half, and it showed on the scoreboard.”
Pitt (5-0) will play Stanford (5-1), an 86-76 winner over Houston in the other semifinal, in the championship at 9:30 Tuesday. Texas Tech (4-2) will play Houston (5-1) in the consolation game.
It was only the second meeting between Pitt and Texas Tech (4-2) — the Panthers won 80-67 in the 2008 Legends Classic — and this one was distinguished by the defense Pitt played, forcing 17 turnovers and holding the Red Raiders to 38.8 percent shooting (19 of 49).
“I felt our offense has been ahead of our defense all year long,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “That's been our emphasis the last two weeks, getting the message across about getting stops.”
Patterson beat his previous high (against Marquette last Jan. 12) by a point. The 6-foot-5 swingman had 14 points, two rebounds, three assists, four steals and one blocked shot in the first half. He finished 8 of 13 from the field, including four 3-pointers.
Pitt outscored Texas Tech, 27-4, over a 9:13 stretch. The Red Raiders reached double digits on a Ross 3-pointer at 4:21 to make it 34-11.
By halftime, Pitt led, 41-18.
“I thought Pittsburgh was pretty impressive,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “They executed, shot the ball well and did some things well. We seemed to be intimidated in the first part of the game, missed some baskets. I was really impressed with their defense.”
It marked the fifth consecutive game Pitt has scored 75 points or more this season. The Panthers, who are averaging 80 points per game, shot 47.2 percent (25 of 53) from the field, made 10 3-pointers and scored 20 points off turnovers.
There was one telltale sign they were in Texas Tech's head.
“By the scoreboard,” said Pitt redshirt junior Cameron Wright, who added 12 points, three assists and three steals. “We outscore people by defense. If we get stops, then we score baskets. If we continue to get stops, then that's how you win the game.”
Texas Tech was led by fifth-year senior forward Jaye Crockett, who scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, including nine in the first 5:45. The fifth-year senior forward was 9 of 11 from the field and had a team-best seven rebounds.
“They gave us a wake-up call,” said Texas Tech guard Jamal Williams Jr., a Brooklyn native. “It's time to take it to another level.”
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’s Dixon monitoring minutes early in season
- Miami’s Scott has improved program since replacing Golden
- District college notebook: Pair of Pitt wrestlers win titles at Keystone Classic
- Bowl destination is at stake for Pitt football in regular-season finale
- Pitt notebook: Narduzzi reaches out to Syracuse coach
- Pitt players praise Narduzzi’s coaching style
- Increased security awaits sports fans across Western Pa.
- Pitt sophomore Luther starting to rule post
- Pitt pulls away from Detroit in 2nd half