Pitt was without the injured Dante Taylor and, after an alleged restaurant incident, Lamar Patterson. But that was nothing compared to Cincinnati missing star forward Yancey Gates, who was suspended for a violation of team rules.
Missing its best player, Cincinnati couldn't keep up with Pitt, as the Panthers prevailed 71-59.
After two tough games, including a loss, Pitt's offense finally got back on track a bit. The team shot 47% from the field and broke 70 points for the first time in three games. Ashton Gibbs led the way as he's done so many times, torching the Bearcats for 25 points tying his career-high.
Pitt didn't play their best game - they committed 18 turnovers and were even outrebounded 38-34. But that was still enough against the Bearcats.
Pitt did okay tonight without Taylor, but they'll eventually need him down the stretch. Talib Zanna and J.J. Richardson who were the main beneficiaries of his playing time weren't particularly encouraging. The duo combined for three points and three rebounds (all of which were Zanna's, by the way), had six fouls, and committed five turnovers. Right now, I don't have much faith in Richardson who many times is simply a big body. He may be fine to play a few minutes here and there, but if Pitt needs him to play in big stretches, they might not be in good shape.
With Patterson's absence, we also saw freshman J.J. Moore play for the first time in three games, contributing four points in eight minutes.
Cincinnati made a late run to make the game a bit closer, but in reality, Pitt held a sizeable lead most of the game. At one point, the Panthers led by 23 and the team led by 20 points for much of the second half.
It's a good thing Pitt had this past week off because they now have its next game on Monday, going on the road to Morgantown to face West Virginia.