The Panthers got off to a slow start--something that has plagued them through the second-half of the season. Thanks to a much better shooting performance in the second half of its opening round game of the NCAA Tournament, Pitt came out on top with a 74-51 win over the Bulldogs.
Though UNC-Asheville's Matt Dickey scored 21 points to lead his team, Pitt's Ashton Gibbs scored a game-high 26 points to help put the game away in the second half. Gibbs scored 20 of those 26 points in the second half, which also included a 4-of-5 performance from three-point range, and he also sparked a key 13-5 run midway through the second half, that helped give Pitt some breathing room.
Even though Dickey came up with big plays for the Bulldogs, Pitt's held UNC-Asheville to just 3-of-19 from three-point range, outshooting them in that department despite their own woes in the first half.
Pitt had eight turnovers in the first half, but turned it over just four times in the second half. In addition to Gibbs, Nasir Robinson joined him in double-figures with 12 points. Gary McGhee finished with 11 rebounds.
Pitt advances to play Butler, who defeated Old Dominion earlier on Thursday. Time for Saturday's game has not yet been announced.