PITTSBURGH—Pitt (10-1) completely out-muscled Bethune-Cookman (4-8) and played the entire game above the rim on it’s way to an 89-40 win at the Petersen Events Center Saturday night. It was Pitt’s largest margin of victory at the Petersen Events Center.
“We’re happy with how we played. We were especially unselfish,” Dixon said. “Our defense got better as the game went on.”
Pitt is leading the nation in assists and added to that total by dishing 28 assists on 37 buckets, a stat Dixon felt was the most-gratifying from his team. Co-point guard Tray Woodall took only one shot but dished 10 assists.
“Tray [Woodall] took one shot. That stood out in my mind,” Dixon said. “There’s a reason why we’re number one in the country in assists.”
The Panthers out-rebounded the much smaller Wildcats 40-11 (a program low). They also scored 22 second-chance points and 60 points in the paint.
The Panthers took their first double-digit lead with 3:34 left in the first half (34-23) on a Steve Adams putback on their way to a 44-24 lead at the half. Adams scored 16 overall and pulled down 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He got his tenth rebound in style, with a putback bucket.
“Steve [Adams] was the recipient of a lot of passes. He rebounded well. He’s continuing to improve,” Dixon said. “It’s great to see him unselfish. We want to play inside out, its always our emphasis.”
Even the opposing coach was impressed with Adams’ performance.
“He’s going to be a good player,” Gravelle Craig said. “A trademark of Coach Dixon is how hard and tough they play for 40 minutes. We try to get our team to understand that.”
Pitt was led by J.J. Moore with 18 points. He scored 14 points in the first half.
“My teammates told me to keep shooting. Today was a good day for me,” Moore said. “We’ve been practicing a lot against the zone. It showed today.”
Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson also scored in double-digits with 11 points each. Pitt had 28 assists on 37 buckets.
The Panthers play two more non-conference games, against Delaware State on Wednesday and Kennesaw State on Sunday before Big East play starts.