In a game that most of the experts predicted would be dominated by defense, Pittsburgh and California did not disappoint. The entire first half was a defensive struggle that did not see either team lead by more than four points. It ended with Pitt holding on to a slim 26-25 lead. As good as the Panthers defense performed that half, it was nothing compared to what they had in store for Cal after the break.
After Cal was able to take a 32-28 lead, Pitt clamped down and held them scoreless for nine and a half minutes and with out a fieldgoal for over eleven minutes. During that stretch, Pitt was able to amass a 16 point run that pushed them to a 44-32 lead. The Golden Bears were never able to recover. For the game, Cal was only able to shoot 31% from the field and 4-24 from three point range.
The only real negative that came out of the game was the Panthers' performance from the free throw line. They shot a dismal 12-26 for the game. That may work against a team like California but in order to advance further in this tournament, it must improve.
Pittsburgh's next game will be against the Cinderella 10th seed Kent St. Kent St. advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by defeating Oklahoma St. 69-61 and then Alabama 71-58. The game will be played at Rupp Arena in Lexington Kentucky on March 21st.