No. 3 Pittsburgh routs UMBC 91-56
PITTSBURGH (AP)—UMBC coach Randy Monroe figured his team’s best chance against No. 3 Pittsburgh was to play tough inside.
“If we’re going to lose,” Monroe said, “let’s lose with them beating us from the outside. And they did.”
Sam Young had 19 points and had three of the Panthers’ 14 3-pointers in a 91-56 rout of the Retrievers on Saturday night.
Pitt, which has reached 10-0 in each of the six seasons of coach Jamie Dixon’s tenure, matched its game-high for 3-pointers over that time period. It also was the most 3-pointers the Panthers hit in the seven-year history of the Petersen Events Center.
“Usually, we kind of throw it down low, bang it out and grind it out,” said Young, who led the team in scoring for the sixth straight game. “But we couldn’t really get it down low like we wanted to because they were in a zone. That kind of forced us to shoot the 3 a little bit. We got hot, so we kept it going.”
The Panthers were 14-of-27 on 3s (52 percent), getting three each by Young, Ashton Gibbs and Levance Fields. Seven players had at least one 3 for Pitt.
Gilbert Brown and Gibbs had 13 points each and DeJuan Blair had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers, who had a season high in points.
“We did a very good job of being unselfish throughout the game,” Dixon said. “I thought we attacked well and had good ball movement against their zone. We were passing well, which made me real happy.”
Darryl Proctor had 13 points and Chaucey Gilliam 11 points and six rebounds to lead the Retrievers (5-4), who were facing a team ranked in the top three for the first time in the program’s history.
“I thought our guys played hard, really played as well as they can play,” Monroe said. “But when you have kids like DeJuan Blair, Tyrell Biggs, Sam Young… Those guys probably outweighed my guys by 40 or 50 pounds each.”
Pitt hadn’t shot better than 46 percent during any of its previous four games and was shooting only 33.1 percent from 3-point range on the season. But the Panthers shot 55.4 percent from the field Saturday.
“I thought we took good shots all the way through,” Dixon said. “I think it’s been a long time coming as far as shooting. I thought we were a better shooting team than we had been showing. Today we were taking good shots, and it showed.”
UMBC scored the first five points of the game, but Pitt scored the next nine points as part of a 16-4 run and never trailed again.
The Panthers held a 33-20 edge in rebounds and forced UMBC into committing 14 turnovers.
“The first couple shots we really weren’t in a rhythm,” Young said. “Then we got going and into a comfort zone. They were laying back in a zone, so we pretty much had open shots, and we were hitting them.”
The Panthers have won 36 in a row at home against non-conference opponents and have won 10 consecutive home games overall.
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