Pittsburgh beats Howard 84-52

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Lamar Patterson scored 20 points on Sunday and Pittsburgh shot a school-record 81 percent from the field in the first half to beat Howard 84-52.

Michael Young also set a career-high, scoring 11 points, including his first 3-pointer, and was 4-of-4 from the floor.

In control from the tipoff, the Panthers (3-0) reeled off a 9-0 run and never looked back. Howard (2-3) didn't score until more than seven minutes had ticked off the clock, and by then trailed 18-5.

Pitt's defense limited Howard to just 37 percent shooting and in the second half forced 18 turnovers and held Howard to just 17 baskets made.

James Daniel led the Bison with 22 points and Solomon Mangham added 10.

Pitt's 81 percent from the field on 17-of-21 shooting topped the previous school record of 80.8 percent, when the Panthers shot 21-of-26 in a half against George Washington on Jan. 9, 1980.

The Panthers didn't make a single three-point basket in their last game, but against Howard, Patterson made his first four three-point attempts.

''Last game we just couldn't find the touch,'' Patterson said. ''Today, we did. That's just how it is, some games you have it going, some you don't.''

Pitt notched 13 assists in the first half, which head coach Jamie Dixon credited as the primary factor in Pitt's red-hot shooting.

''To me, that's the biggest indicator,'' Dixon said. ''We got a lot of inside-out, the penetration and kick-out on the threes.''

After the penetration and kick-out, the only thing for Patterson and the Panthers to do was simply make the shot.

''We have a lot of unselfish players,'' Patterson said. ''We were driving and kicking. We were wide open and we did our job and just knocked them down.''

The Panthers finished at 58 percent overall and 8-of-15 from three-point range. James Robinson, Michael Young, Aron Nwankwo, and Durand Johnson also cashed in on three-point attempts.

Howard head coach Kevin Nickelberry said he tried to warn his players before the game about Pitt's play from the perimeter.

''I tried to give them warning that this team was even more physical and an even better defensive team,'' Nickelberry said. ''Don't let the stats fool you, they make timely shots, they got guys who can make shots.''

Dixon said he saw an improvement in his team's shooting because of the quality of shots taken.

''I thought we got better shots today than the last (game),'' Dixon said. ''It usually comes down to shot selection.''

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