Well, tonight’s game can hardly be classified as an easy win, but Pitt battled from start to finish, overcoming multiple big Kansas State leads–including a 10-point edge with four minutes left in the first half–and won a thriller by a score of 63-59.
We have all seen how great Pitt can be, as well as how exhausting they can be. Tonight’s game featured both of those character traits in spades. The Panthers collected 40 rebounds, made 86 percent of their free throws, and blocked six shots, altering several more. On the flip side though, the Panthers shot a putrid six percent of their three-point attempts, turned the ball over a horrendous 21 times, and collected just two assists.
It all started in the first half, as Pitt turned the ball over five times in the first 6 minutes, 41 seconds of the game. They also allowed Kansas State to enter the bonus really early on by committing seven fouls in the first nine minutes of the game. Xavier Johnson picked up two of those fouls in the first three minutes of the game, and sat the rest of the first half. Despite the sloppy play (and five made three-pointers for Kansas State), Pitt trailed just 30-28 at the break.
The second half played out much the same way that the first half did, as Pitt committed some terrible turnovers and fouls, but they got some much needed play from both Terrell Brown and Eric Hamilton in the interior, another great performance for the true freshman Justin Champagnie, and just enough of a second-half resurgence for Xavier Johnson to stave off a last-minute comeback attempt by the Wildcats after Pitt went up to a 57-51 lead.
Leading scorers for the Panthers were Ryan Murphy (13), Eric Hamilton (13), Johnson (12), and Champagnie (12). With the...
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