West Virginia 70 – Pittsburgh 51
Da’Sean Butler scored 18 points and Devin Ebanks added a game-high 16 rebounds to lead No. 6 West Virginia (18-3) to a 70-51 victory over No. 21 Pittsburgh (16-6) Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum in what was the 179th Backyard Brawl.
Pittsburgh shot a woeful 30 percent from the field and made only 6 field goals in the second half.
Pittsburgh has lost four of five games after an eight game winning streak and all of sudden Pitt is starting to resemble the young inconsistent team, that many thought we would see most nights this season.
Pittsburgh scored 23 points in the second half, their second-lowest scoring total of the season but their ability to score points in the paint (26-14 advantage) kept them in the game through the first 27 minutes of the game, until West Virginia pulled away, outscoring Pitt 27-10 in the final 12:54 of the game.
“They’re {Pittsburgh} terrific at dribble penetration and I think out of 28 {first half} points, 24 of them were in the paint if I’m not mistaken,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said.
Butler was a focal point for West Virginia and Kevin Jones added 16 points for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers dominated Pitt on the boards, out-rebounding Pittsburgh 45-31, led by Ebanks game-high 16 rebounds.
However, the story after the game was more about the fans behavior than the actual game.
“Usually when Pitt and West Virginia get together it does have a little bit of everything,” Huggins said, tempers flared on the court and in stands between the two rivals.
Several objects were thrown onto the court by fans and it got ugly as it prompted West Virginia coach Bob Huggins to grab a microphone and claim the behavior of the fans was stupid.
Moments late, a scuffle under the hoop happened and while officials were reviewing the situation, Pittsburgh assistant coach Tom Herrion was hit with what appeared to be a quarter under his right eye.
Pittsburgh’s Jermaine Dixon returned to the lineup and led Pitt with 13 points. Ashton Gibbs struggled from the field, scoring 11 points on 2-of-13 from the field.
Pitt has shown this season in big games that when Gibbs doesn’t shoot well, Pitt is usually on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Freshman Dante Taylor was limited to 6 minutes of playing time and had zero points.