The No. 16 Pittsburgh Panthers put together another impressive road victory Wednesday night, defeating No. 15 Connecticut 67-57.
The Panthers (14-2) won for the seventh straight time and improved their record to 4-0 in the Big East.
After a nine day layoff between games, following two key road wins against Syracuse and Cincinnati, Pittsburgh didn’t lose any of their momentum.
Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs each scored 19 points and the young Panthers have a swagger about them.
Pittsburgh dominated on the boards, out-rebounding Connecticut 40-31, including 26-13 in the second half.
“We out rebounded them by 13 in second half, and clearly that was the difference, ” head coach Jamie Dixon said.
Pitt is playing Jamie Dixon type of basketball in the defensive end and on the boards but are playing more of an up-tempo style in the offensive zone that suits the athleticism they have on the outside.
The Panthers don’t have a dominate inside presence like they had in years past and Dixon has adapted his style and has the Panthers on the rise in the Big East conference.
Pitt led for most of the game and was up by nine with just under 15 minutes to play, until the Huskies scored 11 straight points, and claimed a 49-48 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Panthers responded like they have all season, out-scoring Connecticut 19-8 in the final nine minutes of play.
The Panthers hit 17 of 20 foul shots, including six straight to close out the game.
Despite their lack of experience, Pittsburgh has shown the ability to close out games and Wednesday night was no different.
“I’m very proud of our guys, ” Jamie Dixon said. “Obviously, everybody knows, I don’t have to sit here and tell you how tough this place is to play in, and what their record is over the years, and how good they are, and how good a program, and everything that goes with it. That needed to be said to recognize how important this game was for us.”
With a 14-2 record and 4-0 in the Big East, Pitt has 3 out of their next 4 games at home.
Remaining January Schedule
01/16/10 vs. Louisville Petersen Events Center 12:00 p.m. ET
01/20/10 vs. Georgetown Petersen Events Center 7:00 p.m. ET
01/24/10 at Seton Hall Newark, N.J./Prudential Center 2:00 p.m. ET
01/28/10 vs. St. John’s Petersen Events Center 7:00 p.m. ET
01/31/10 at South Florida Tampa, Fla./Sun Dome 1:00 p.m. ET