As expected, Penn didn't give the Panthers much trouble Saturday.
The Panthers won 82-58 and, as usual, used a heavy dose of defense and rebounding to win this one. Pitt held a +15 edge on the glass to hold off Penn. The Quakers scored nine points late on Pitt's reserves to make the score a bit less lopsided.
Ashton Gibbs shook off a slow first half in which he shot 1-6 from the field and finished with 12 points. Backcourt mate, Brad Wanamaker didn't have a big night scoring (six points), but contributed six rebounds, six assists, and three steals. This guy simply gets it done every night and even when he's not scoring points, finds other ways to help the team win. Gilbert Brown added nine points and seven rebounds.
Gary McGhee for some odd reason only played 13 minutes. I don't remember seeing him at all in the second half, either. Foul trouble wasn't the reason as he had no fouls on the night and I didn't notice an injury. But Dante Taylor played well in his absence with 11 points and four rebounds. Taylor also got up and down the court pretty well and looked active the entire game.
And speaking of bench players, Pitt's reserves totaled 46 points - nearly as much as Penn's entire team before their late scoring burst. J.J. Moore had 11, Nasir Robinson had nine, and Travon Woodall had seven. This team is really deep and one of the reasons they're scoring so many points is because when some players have off nights (like Brad Wanamaker tonight), others step up. This team may not have the talented three players that the 2008-09 team did with DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, and Levance Fields, but it can go 11 deep. I also made this point before, but guys like Woodall, Robinson, and Taylor could start for some pretty good teams. That kind of depth will allow them to stay in games.
Pitt also shot 84% from the free throw line. When's the last time you saw that happen?
Next up for the Panthers is the City Game Wednesday night against Duquesne. Let's hope it doesn't come down to a double OT game like last year.