Pitt blows away Wagner 87-61

The Panthers came out focused and were all business in their first round blowout over Wagner. It was another trademark team effort, with backup point guard Carl Krauser stepping in for Brandin Knight, who was in foul trouble most of the game. The Panthers never missed a beat with Krauser making fantastic passes, hitting his open shots, and playing tough on the boards.

Krauser finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Danatas Zavackas was Pitt's leading scorer and finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

High scorers for Wagner were  Jermaine Hall and Dedrick Dye with 17 and 15 points, respectively.  Nigel Wyatte had 9 rebounds and 8 points.

Also evident of Pitt playing their normal unselfish brand of basketball was the 22-13 advantage in assists over Wagner. They also out out-rebounded Wagner 37-34. They spread the scoring around as usual. Nobody had a huge night, but everyone contributed to this easy victory. Jaron Brown added 11 points and Brandin Knight had 10 points and 4 rebounds. Ontario Lett and Julius Page had 9 points each and Chevon Troutman pitched in with 8 points.

The Panthers probably received their best bench play of the season, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. Not only did Karl Krauser score 12 points off the bench, but Troutman and Toree Morris added 8 points each. Morris played a strong game as he added 4 blocked shots also. Mark McCarroll played some solid minutes and that experience should pay off down the road.

Once again the defense was outstanding. Troutman collected 4 steals, Morris 4 blocks; and Krauser, Knight, Brown and Page smothered the Wagner offense all night.

Next up will be the storied Indiana Hoosier program. Indiana, who defeated Alabama 67-62 last night, will provide the Panthers a much tougher contest Sunday. Indiana brings a 21-12 record into the contest and has been ranked as high as 8th in the country this season.

--Brian Gold

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