Junior Bradley Wanamaker scored a career-high 20 points, while sophomore Ashton Gibbs added 19, as Pittsburgh won its 28th consecutive home game with a 66-48 decision against Mount St. Mary's Saturday at the Petersen Events Center.
The Panthers (9-2) have the nation's second-longest home-court winning streak (behind No. 1 Kansas with 48) and have won 45 in a row at the Petersen Events Center against nonconference teams. Pitt also is 67-0 all-time against opponents from the Northeast Conference.
"I've been shooting the ball pretty well the past couple games, and I've been taking pretty good shots,'' Wanamaker said. "And they were falling for me tonight, so I shot a good percentage.''
Wanamaker also dished out seven assists and committed just one turnover, which helped the Panthers to a low 12 errors for the game. They also out-rebounded the Mount by 14 (44-30) and held them to just 31.6 percent shooting.
"I had been turning the ball over a lot, but Coach has been preaching to me ... and I've done a lot better in practice,'' Wanamaker said. "And that carried over into the game. So, that's what you always try to do.''
Pitt senior Jermaine Dixon, the lone returning starter from last season's Elite Eight team, made his first start of the season after sustaining a fractured right foot in the summer and re-breaking it in the preseason. Dixon, who had appeared in the previous two games but only for a combined 26 minutes, had four points on 2-for-6 shooting and four fouls in 19 minutes.
Jermaine Dixon started for redshirt freshman point guard Travon Woodall, but played the two spot. And Gibbs moved from there to the point for the first time this season.
"Coach got me a lot of reps in practice at point guard, so I was ready for it,'' Gibbs said. "It was my first time in a game situation, so it took a while for me to get used to it. And I guess I have to live with it now.
"But I'll do whatever I need to do to help the team. Whatever Coach wants, and when Travon comes in I move over. And Travon gave us a good spark off the bench. He played solid at the point and made some shots.''
Kelly Beidler and Jeremy Goode each had 11 points to lead Mount St. Mary's (3-7), which has lost five in a row.
The Panthers have won five of their last six. They began the game on an 11-2 run, despite going 0-for-4 from the free-throw line, and scored the final nine points of the first half to take a 30-18 advantage into the locker room. The Mount had cut Pitt's lead to three points, 21-18, but couldn't hang the rest of the way.
"We talked about trying to close the first half strong, but ... they were the ones who closed it out on us,'' Mount St. Mary's coach Milan Brown said. "I don't think we scored in the last three minutes or so, and that was the difference in the game. We just couldn't get back in the game after that.''
Pitt heated up after a Dixon jumper made it 17-6, scoring 53 points over the final 27:08 of the game. The Panthers shot 45.6 percent (26-for-57) for the game. The Mountaineers shot only 31.6 percent from the field (18-for-57)—the second-lowest for a Pitt opponent this season, behind only New Hampshire.
Junior Gary McGhee had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Panthers, while Beidler added eight rebounds, and Shawn Atupem had 10 points for Mount St. Mary's.
Pitt entertains Ohio on Tuesday for its final contest before Big East Conference play begins. Redshirt junior Jermaine Dixon could make his debut in that game after serving an academic suspension during the fall semester.
Pitt 66, Mount St. Mary's 48
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