PITT BASKETBALL POST GAME NOTES
Pitt (12-3) dropped to 0-2 in the Big East after Saturday's 67-61 loss at Rutgers (10-3, 1-1 Big East)
The Panthers started slow on both sides of the ball and fell behind 19-5 seven minutes into the game.
They closed the gap in the second half, including starting the second half with a 9-0 run, but were not able to fully climb out of the hole they dug themselves in before the break.
"I give Rutgers credit; they obviously got off to a great start. As the half progressed, we dug a hole that we couldn't recover from," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "We responded in the second half and we played hard. We made some adjustments and that helped, but it's hard to come back from a fifteen point deficit. "
The loss ended Pitt's six-game win streak at Rutgers home court called the RAC. The Panthers had not lost there since 2002. They dropped to 23-25 in the overall series against the Scarlet Knights.
"I certainly would like to bottle that first half. What it came down to was stops, rebounding the miss and finishing the possession. And now our players are good in transition," Rutgers head coach Mike Rice said. "In the second half we just didn't get enough stops to get out in transition. We had a couple steals at the end to help us. That's how I want to play. I want to play aggressive man to man defense or a zone, and get out and run. When we get stops we can do that."
Pitt shot a season-low 37.5 percent (21-56) from the floor. Previously, it shot 38.7 percent vs. Duquesne on Dec. 5, 2012.
The Panthers continued to shoot cold from the three-point range as they hit eight three-pointers on a season-high 26 attempts, with Travon Woodall and J.J. Moore hitting three each and Durand Johnson hitting two.
They were 0-10 in the last game, a loss against visiting Big East foe Cincinnati.
"We shot too many perimeter jump shots to start the game," Dixon said. "We tried to get Cameron (Wright) going and I don't know if that worked to our advantage."
Wright started at off guard for the first time this season. It was his eleventh career start.
Moore led Pitt with 14 points. It marked his sixth double figure scoring game of the year and 23rd of his career. He also hit a season-high tying three 3-pointers.
Woodall finished with 11 points and eight assists on the day. He was 3-11 from the field including 3-9 from 3-point range. The 11 points marked his 35th career and ninth season double figure scoring game.
Rutgers' Eli Carter led all scorers with 23 points off the bench. He was 6-14 from the field including 2-8 from three and 9-10 from the free throw line.
The Panthers were out-rebounded 36-24, a season-low rebound total for the team and the second-lowest rebound total in Dixon's tenure.
"We're just not getting it done and our defense is the thing that stands out. I thought that our offense led to our defensive short comings in the first half," Dixon said. "Our rebounding is a hard thing to comprehend."
The Panthers remains on the road and will travel to Georgetown on Tuesday night. Tipoff is 9 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.