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Pitt cruises past Wake Forest 84-55

The Pitt Panthers grasped an early lead over Wake Forest and never looked back in a 84-55 victory over the Demon Deacons.

Streeter Lecka

Pitt looked like a determined squad in their first ever appearance in the ACC Tournament. The Panthers dominated Wake Forest in every facet of the game en route to a 84-55 victory over the Demon Deacons. Pitt received another all conference performance by their all conference player in Lamar Patterson. Patterson finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Talib Zanna played noticeably well with a strong 17 point 9 rebound performance himself.

The Panthers raced out to an early lead, and it seemed Wake Forest could not keep up with the Panthers from the onset. Wake Forest was playing their second game in as many days, and at times looked tired. Many believe this could have been the final game in the Jeff Bzdelik era, who dropped to 50-78 in his four years coaching  the Demon Deacons.

Pitt shot 50% from the field, including 43.8% (7-16) behind the arc, and 75% (15-20) from the free throw line.Pitt out rebounded Wake Forest 40-30, beat them in the assist column 20-6, and forced 14 turnovers while only committing 8. Pitt saw scoring from 11 of the 13 players that took the court on Thursday afternoon. Mike Young churned out a solid 9 point output, while Josh Newkirk provided a much needed 10 point 5 assist performance off the bench

The Panthers led by a score of 39-24 at the halftime, and really asserted themselves right off the bat in the second half. Pitt had the lead around the 30 point mark, and never lower than 19 points in the middle parts of the second half. With the win, Pitt moves on to face fourth seeded North Carolina tomorrow at 2:00 on ESPN. The Panthers dropped one to North Carolina, 75-71 back on Feburary 15 in Chapel Hill. The win today also should erase any doubts of Pitt's tournament status, and now it becomes more of a matter of what seed they can get.

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