Pitt looks to avenge last season's shocking loss to Butler on Wednesday. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Princeton led 2-0 to start the game. Then, Pitt went on a 12-0 run and didn't look back. What's it mean? The Panthers are in the CBI Final Four after beating the Tigers.
Five Panthers scored in double figures and were led by Lamar Patterson who had a career-high 19 points on 8-12 shooting. Tray Woodall nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds. Pitt shot 52% from the field and went 9-20 from behind the arc.
But where Pitt really made their impact was on defense. Princeton got as close as three with just over eight minutes left in the first half. But Pitt then proceeded to limit the Tigers to just six points over the rest of the half and were up by 24 at the break. Princeton shot just over 41% and only made it to the free throw line 6 times.
The first half was arguably Pitt's finest performance on both ends of the floor. They were scoring at will on offense with 49 points at the break and held Princeton to just 24. The Panthers also only had one turnover in the first 20 minutes, which has been virtually unheard of this season. Pitt held Princeton's top scorer Ian Hummer scoreless in the first half and even though his final line was strong, shutting him down early was a big part of their success.
Princeton got to within 11 with about seven minutes to go, but it wasn't enough. Nasir Robinson, who had his first double-double since the Cincinnati game on New Year's Day with 12 points and ten rebounds, and Ashton Gibbs, who added ten points, each made two shots as Pitt ran away with it from that point.
One year ago today, Pitt lost one of the more memorable games of the NCAA Tournament to Butler. On Wednesday, the Panthers head to Indianapolis to play the Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse after Butler beat Penn at the Palestra tonight. The winner heads to the CBI finals.
One good thing - the game will be seen on TV.