Pitt didn't win quite as big in this one as they did in crushing Central Arkansas by 53 points last Sunday. But the Panthers still had little difficulty in beating Eastern Washington on Friday night, 84-51.
The team was led by Michael Young and Jamel Artis. Young led the team in scoring again with 21, and added three rebounds and a team-high four assists. Artis chipped in 14 points and four rebounds, having a solid game despite three turnovers. Also worth noting that Rafael Maia had a big game on the glass, collecting a game-high 11 boards (to go along with six points and a steal) as he continues to get better. Sheldon Jeter, Cam Johnson, and Damon Wilson rounded out the scoring with a combined 24 points. Of that group, Jeter played very well with nine points, six boards, and two steals.
It's also worth pointing out that Pitt could be settling on a starting lineup. For the third straight game, the Panthers went with James Robinson and Sterling Smith in the backcourt, forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young, and Rafael Maia in the middle. I'm not sure we can say without a doubt that these will be the starters for the rest of the year, but it wouldn't be a surprise. Everyone in the starting lineup has performed well and they appear to have the inside track on things.
Sterling Smith had a quiet game tonight with only one point and taking only one shot, but overall, he's been very good. Chris Jones (who had a very good game with 11 points on 3-6 shooting with three rebounds) could push him there as well, but shooting guard is really the only spot that I see even remotely up for grabs right now.
Next up for Pitt is another tuneup in Morehead State on Sunday before the big contest against Davidson next Sunday.