As expected, Pitt's basketball team had little trouble with Howard tonight, with an 84-52 win at the Pete.
Pitt got off to some kind of start, making 81% of their shots in the first half - a school record for a half for the Panthers. Because of that, Pitt raced out to an 18-1 lead and the game was never in doubt after that. When you factor in that Howard shot only 36% ... yeah, it got ugly.
Lamar Patterson was the star, scoring 20 points. As usual, he did a little of everything with five boards, four assists, and two steals.
The guy I'm starting to be really impressed with is Mike Young. Young was second on the team with 11 and is just a freak. He even stepped back and hit a three-pointer and was 4-4 from the field. He only had two rebounds tonight, but averaging 8.5 in the previous two games, he's already shown he can do that, too. Young is averaging nine points and seven rebounds as a true freshman and while the level of competition is going to get much harder, it's just hard not seeing him as a contributor this year. I made this point earlier, but in two years, he should be a flat out star.
It was also good to see Pitt rebound from that horrible 0-11 game from behind the arc against Fresno State. The Panthers made eight of their 15 three-pointers against Howard and that really opened things up.
One encouraging thing has been the free throw shooting this season. The Panthers are making just over 75% of those this season and if they can shoot that well the rest of the way, some of those close games should will turn into wins. Free throws have cost this program so many wins it's not even funny and if the Panthers shoot even respectably there, that will go a long way to a successful year.