Pitt faces the Georgetown Hoyas tomorrow night in a rematch of the regular season game at Pete in late January, in which Pitt led throughout the game in route to a 72-60 win over the Hoyas. If Pitt is to even make the NIT, some are suggesting that Pitt win the game tomorrow to be considered for an at-large berth. So let's do that.
In Game 1 against St. John's, Pitt didn't shoot the ball particularly well (approximately 45% from the field), lost the rebounding battle, and had 13 turnovers. But they played well defensively and held the Red Storm to under 34% shooting and only 2-11 from the perimeter. Pitt also took 12 more free throws than St. John's. The Panthers will have to continue this defensive play against the Hoyas to come out on top while getting more play from the big men. Pitt got a combined seven points from Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna on Tuesday.
The backcourt got solid play from Ashton Gibbs, who had 20 points, while Lamar Patterson and Tray Woodall added 9 points a piece. They will also need to continue playing at a high level for Pitt to continue moving forward.
Now onto the preview of the Hoyas after the jump
What worked against Georgetown in the first meeting? Pitt played well defensively in the game, holding the Hoyas to just over 42% from the field, while shooting well (25-48 or 52%) and beating Georgetown on the boards (33-22). The frontcourt also had their way with the Hoyas with Nasir Robinson in particular playing really well. Robinson had 23 points on 9-9 shooting, including 5-6 from the line, while Lamar Patterson and Ashton Gibbs contributed 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Pitt didn't get much from Tray Woodall, who shot 1-7 from the field, but he had 10 assists, which made a huge difference. Tray, who has been struggling from the field in the past few games, needs to have a bigger game offensively. He's a good player, but his injuries seem to be affecting him more lately, which is probably leading to turnovers.
The bench players also need to contribute tomorrow afternoon. Pitt only had six points off the bench against Georgetown the first time around. That was offset from the stellar performances from Robinson, Patterson, and Gibbs, but we can't come to expect consistent offensive performances like that out of this team. Pitt needs scoring from other players like J.J. Moore, Talib Zanna, and John Johnson.
The Panthers will also have to continue to be physical and get to the line. When Pitt wins, they have usually shot more free throws than their opponent. Against the Hoyas in January, Pitt got to the line ten more times and went 19-22 from the line.
I'm unsure of how Pitt will do in this game. They won in the regular season, but Georgetown is a different team now and is the better team on paper. I wouldn't be surprised by a Pitt win or loss, but with how Pitt played the Hoyas in the regular season and a bit of momentum after playing on Tuesday, the Panthers are definitely capable of pulling off an upset.