Insider Only Big East Opener: Panthers struggle to defend the “3” in 72-59 loss to Notre Dame

Notre Dame 72 – No. 22 Pittsburgh 59

As Big East play has opened up, what’s become alarming for Pitt is that they show no resemblence of Jamie Dixon teams that wear down teams defensively. Instead Pitt has the look of a team that’s easy to play against and that showed again tonight against Notre Dame in the Panthers Big East Opener.

For the Irish, Alex Dragicevich hit four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points, leading Notre Dame to a 72-59 win over the Panthers in the Big East opener for both teams.
Jerian Grant added 15 points and nine assists, and Eric Atkins also scored 15 points for the Fighting Irish (9-5, 1-0), who trailed 26-25 at intermission but rallied with a 18-for-25 performance from the field in the second half.
The loss was Pitt’s second straight after a 59-54 loss to Wagner at home on Friday, while Notre Dame extended its home winning streak to 28 games.
Talib Zanna had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (11-3, 0-1), who shot 40 percent from the field (24 for 60). Nasir Robinson and Ashton Gibbs each added 12 points for Pitt.
Notre Dame made the needed adjustments in the second half as Dragicevich, Grant and Atkins each had just five points in the first half for Notre Dame, which was outrebounded 39-30 but made up for it with seven 3-pointers, compared to the Panthers who went 1-for-14 from three point range.
Pitt struggled mightily at defending the three as the Irish pushed the tempo in the second half.
Pitt next hosts Cincinnati on Jan 1.

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