The Pitt men’s basketball team played in its second of three exhibition games in Italy on Saturday, routing the Florence All-Stars 103-53 in Livorno. The exhibition marked the first time the Panthers posted a triple-digit point total in a game of any sort since Dec. 28, 2016, when they beat Marshall 112-106.
Unlike Pitt’s first exhibition game in Rome, which ended in a narrow 60-55 win over the Netherlands National B Team, the result of Saturday’s matchup was never in doubt.
The Panthers opened the game by scoring 21 unanswered points, and by the end of the first quarter, they had established a 30-7 lead. At that point, freshman Justin Champagnie and Trey McGowens had combined for 15 points. Xavier Johnson was also a key contributor, as he chipped in four points and four assists.
By halftime, Pitt was still firmly in control, with a 54-23 lead due in large part to the play of its backcourt. Johnson, McGowens and recent New Mexico Junior College transfer Ryan Murphy, who was one of the stars of Pitt’s last game, combined for nine of the 12 assists the team had posted up to that point. In addition, the trio was responsible for more than half of the team’s 54 points, as they scored 29.
The Panthers continued to dominate in the second half and got help from some new faces. Most notably, freshman power forward Karim Coulibaly complemented Johnson's steady offensive onslaught by contributing seven points in the third quarter, and Gerald Drumgoole shined on defense, as he accumulated a game-high seven steals. As a team, Pitt would rack up 25 steals.
After four quarters, Pitt held a 50-point advantage over the Italian team, and Champagnie was honored as the player of the game. The freshman out of Brooklyn, New York, posted 16 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals. Another Panther who quietly had a solid outing was Terrell Brown, who finished with 14 points after converting on 70 percent of his shots from the field. The 6'10" center also had five rebounds and a block. All told, Pitt had five players who posted double-digit point totals.
With two games now in the books, Pitt has one exhibition game remaining in its Italian excursion. The Panthers will travel to Venice on Sunday and prepare to face the Vicenza All-Stars. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET on Monday.