MILWAUKEE—Down 18 to 13 with just over nine minutes to go in the first half, the Pitt Panthers went on a 26-4 run spanning halftime to propel themselves to a 89-66 victory over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at the Bradley Center on Friday afternoon.
"[I] really liked how we figured out as the game went on and adapted to what they were doing and made improvements, especially on the offensive end," said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon.
Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert Brown scored 17 points in a balanced Pittsburgh attack that saw six different players score in double figures. It was indicative of the start by the panthers as five different players scored the first five baskets.
"I liked the balanced scoring and the decision-making we made as the game went on," added Dixon.
The Panthers were able to dominate the paint, outscoring OU 48-26, despite 28 points from the Golden Grizzlies center Keith Benson.
The Panthers took a 39-26 lead into the break and were never out of comfort in the second half. Pitt shot 60 percent from the field after the break and got to the free throw line 18 times.
Benson's 28 points led OU and the junior big man added 9 rebounds in nearly 40 minutes of action. Reserve guard Ledrick Eackles added in 17 points for the Golden Grizzlies.
Pitt will tangle with No. 6 seed Xavier on Sunday, which is a rematch of last year's regional semifinal. The Panthers won that game 60-55.
Pitt moves past Oakland for opening round win
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