Pittsburgh brought only one freshman into the program with its last recruiting class in point guard Damon Wilson. Sunday, he had the biggest single-game impact of any of the upperclass transfers Jamie Dixon drew to Pitt.
Wilson came off the bench to score 20 points in 20 minutes, both career-highs, for the Panthers in a 100-47 victory against Central Arkansas. Through seven games at Pitt, Wilson’s enjoyed playing with his new teammates.
“It’s just so easy because everybody’s so unselfish,” Wilson said. “Everybody’s looking for each other to be successful so that makes everything way more easier, playing with people that’s looking not only for themselves.”
Jamel Artis added 17 points for Pitt (6-1) and Chris Jones chipped in 13 points off the bench. The Panthers reserves scored 51 points.
Even in a game that was well-decided by halftime, Dixon liked the way his team handled playing with a huge lead.
“It wasn’t like the guys were out there looking for theirs,” Dixon said. “We were trying to go for the school record for assists and we talked about that at halftime. We were making the right plays and making the right passes for the most part.”
The Panthers recorded 29 assists on 37 made shots, which fell five behind the single-game record of 34 set in 1974.
“I think our guards did a great job of penetrating and finding open guys,” Jones said. “Really all the shots we took, if you look at the film. probably were wide open shots or layups.”
Jordan Howard scored nine points to lead Central Arkansas (1-7) as the Bears shot a season-worst 32 percent from the field.
“Everything they did was good and everything we did was bad,” Pennell said.
Pitt started 0 for 6 from the field before making its next six shots to open up an 11-4 lead six minutes into the game.
Boo Milligan drew the Bears within single-digits of the Panthers on a layup to make the score 23-14 with nine minutes left in the half. Pitt responded with a 12-1 run to extend its lead to 21 points and held a 50-23 halftime edge.
The Panthers began the second half with a 21-4 run to push their lead over 40 points. Central Arkansas fell behind by 50 points, 79-29, after the Panthers held the Bears scoreless for six minutes and went on a 19-0 run.
Pitt led by as many as 57 points.
THE CENTURY MARK
The final basket was made with 18 seconds left by Wilson, who made a 3-pointer for Pitt’s first 100-point performance in eight years. He received the ball, wide open on the left wing, and shot after a moment of hesitation cause by the crowd’s exhortation.
“I didn’t know what they were screaming for if they wanted somebody else to get the shot,” Wilson said. “I just shot it, I guess they just wanted 100 points.”
Pittsburgh: Pitt scored 100 points for the first time since the Panthers scored 103 against Houston Baptist on Nov. 9, 2007. Pitt also notched its third victory by at least 40 points this season.
Pittsburgh hosts Eastern Washington on Friday