Pitt (13-3, 1-2 Big East) rebounded from an 0-2 Big East Conference start by out-playing Georgetown (10-3, 1-1 Big East) from start to finish Tuesday night and won in fashion, 73-45 at the Verizon Center. It was the second-largest Big East road win in Pitt history.
"This is the team we think we can be. This is the way we want to play," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "We played well [at the Verizon Center]. It was great to hear the Pitt fans here. Georgetown is one of the best programs in the country. We've had a great rivalry but obviously tonight was our night."
Talib Zanna gave Pitt its first double digit lead at 28-17 midway through the first half on a spinning move and a dunk underneath. He led the Panthers with 15 points. Travon Woodall had 11 and dished 7 assists. All ten Pitt players scored. The Panthers had16 assists on 27 baskets. They shot 55 percent from the field.
"We got some layups in breaking their press. We took advantage of it. Our energy was good," Dixon said. "We were more patient offensively. We took good shots. We got good performances all the way through."
Both teams entered the game in the top-ten in scoring defense. Pitt held up its end of the bargain holding Georgetown to 35 percent from the floor including 16 percent from three-point range. No Hoya scored in double-figures. Otto Porter led Georgetown with nine points.
Pitt won the rebounding battle 30-23 led by Lamar Patterson with 7 boards. The Hoyas also had only five offensive rebounds overall.
"We had ball pressure out front defensively. We built off that," Dixon said. "We made a couple shots early that helped our confidence.
After Georgetown scored the first basket, they would never lead again. The Panthers tore off a 7-0 run and never looked back in holding the Hoyas to six field goals in the first half while taking a 37-22 lead at the break. It was Pitt's third-largest halftime lead in a Big East road game in the history of the program.
Midway through the second half, Georgetown tore off a 6-0 run to cut Pitt's lead from 19-13. Dixon called a timeout to settle things down and the Panthers responded and went on a 6-0 run to push their lead back up to 19 which basically squelched the last hopes Georgetown had of mounting a comeback.
"That run was key," Dixon said. "We had a big bucket [Steve Adams dunk] at the end of it."
Pitt returns home on Saturday at noon to host Big East foe Marquette.
"There's a fine line and we found it tonight," Dixon said. "The key is to stay with it. Hopefully we can continue."