Pitt thrashes Davidson 94-69 at Madison Square Garden, improves to 9-1


Pitt Junior forward Michael Young proved to be too much for the Davidson Wildcats, as he finished with 22 points and 6 rebounds to lead Pitt to a 94-69 victory. 

The Pitt Panthers caught fire from the field, shooting 55% (36 for 65), and the defense was successful in slowing down the highest scoring duo in college basketball Sunday afternoon in a 94-69 blowout.

Davidson came out of the gate hot, hitting two three-pointers to lead 10-4, and then 19-12 midway through the first half.

It appeared that Pitt had their hands full, but the roles were reversed quickly.

Young ignited the Pitt offensive attack with a drive to the basket and authoritative dunk on a Davidson defender.  The dunk came on a stretch in which Pitt went on a 23-4 run to break open the game and lead 50 to 38 at the half.

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The Panthers (9-1) made a statement this afternoon and may end up in the Top 25 next week.  Pitt had more rebounds than Davidson (50 to 31), had more assists (20 to 7), had more blocks (6 to 0), and more steals (7 to 4).  It was a dominant performance from Jamie Dixon’s Panthers, and their biggest nonconference win of the year.

Pitt was stronger and more athletic than the defending Atlantic 10 champs, who fell to 7-2.  The Panthers put on a shooting, rebounding, and defensive clinic.  It was Pitt’s best all-around game of the season thus far.

Aside from Young’s 22 points, senior point guard James Robinson scored 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.  Senior guard Sterling Smith added 12 points, making 4 of his 5 three-point attempts and become a 1,000 point scorer.  Junior guard Chris Jones came off the bench and added 12 points, while junior forward Sheldon Jeter added 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Junior guard Jack Gibbs came into the game averaging 25 points per game and scored 21 points on 7 of 19 shooting, while guard Brian Sullivan came into the game averaging 17 points per game but only managed to score 10 points on 3 of 14 shooting.  Forward Peyton Aldridge scored 19 points on 7 of 18 shooting.

The three-pointer was falling for Pitt, who buried 9 of 19 attempts (47%), whereas Davidson only made 6 of 29 attempts (21%).  The Wildcats shot a season-low of 35% (24 for 68).

It was nice seeing Pitt respond from an early deficit against one of the highest scoring teams in the country.  Davidson averaged over 85 points per game, but so does Pitt.  This Pitt offense may be the most explosive since the 2009 team that featured DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, and Levance Fields.

Pitt was only favored by 4.5 points, yet they won by 25. Pitt’s second leading scorer Jamel Artis got into early foul trouble, but Pitt did not skip a beat as Michael Young took the game over.  Young is looking like an All-ACC type player, and he presents matchup problems at the power forward position.

With such an experienced team that is gaining conference, Dixon and staff are out to prove that Pitt is not the 10th best team in the ACC, according to the preseason rankings. If Pitt continues to play like they did this afternoon, the Panthers should be a threat to the rest of the conference.

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Pitt will host Western Carolina on Wednesday at the Peterson Events Center. Tip off is at 7:00PM EST on ESPN3.