Some games are easy and some are ugly. This one was of the ugly variety.
On Sunday, the Panthers cruised to their second consecutive win, topping Central Arkansas, 100-47. The game was never in doubt. Pitt missed a few early shots, but never trailed in this one. The Panthers raced out to a quick 15-4 lead and after a 9-2 run to close the half, led by 27 at halftime. Things didn't get any better for Central Arkansas after the break as Pitt began the half on a 25-4 run, blowing things wide open. This wasn't an easy win, it was a blood bath.
Of the starters, Jamel Artis led the team with 17 points, but he had plenty of help, too. Pitt gave a lot of playing time to other players due to the blowout and one beneficiary of that was true freshman Damon Wilson. Wilson played quite a bit and had a team-high 20 points to go along with three assists and only one turnover. Michael Young also added eight points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes while Chris Jones had 13 points and five assists.
As a team, the Panthers had a whopping 29 assists to Central Arkansas' six. Pitt also easily won the rebounding battle, 52-34, and shot 54% from the field to their opponent's 32%.
The one player Central Arkansas needed to make a game of things was leading scorer Jordan Howard. Howard struggled mightily though, finishing with nine points on 3-10 shooting.
Minor note here but I didn't see Jonathan Milligan out there at all. Keep in mind that walk-on Mike Lecak got into the game with almost ten minutes left. Not sure what the deal was there, but hopefully we hear more about it afterward.
It's hard to take too much away from games like this. Pitt faces a lot of weak competition in the non-conference schedule, but Central Arkansas is near the bottom of the group. After today, the Bears are only 1-7 on the year and one of the worst teams the Panthers will face. You still have to go out there and play, though, and any time you beat a team by more than 50 points, that's saying something.
Pitt now gets a break this week before two games next weekend against Eastern Washington (Friday) and Morehead State (Sunday). Both contests will be on ESPN3.