Pitt basketball drops game to Notre Dame

By Lauren Kirschman

The Pitt men’s basketball team’s continued struggles lead to its second consecutive loss on… The Pitt men’s basketball team’s continued struggles lead to its second consecutive loss on Tuesday night.

The Panthers continued to underwhelm both offensively and defensively in their 72-59 loss at Notre Dame in the Big East opener.

The return of starting point guard Travon Woodall, who came off the bench, didn’t help.

Pitt gave up an early 19-12 lead in the first half, but still managed to into the break with a 26-25 advantage.

But while the Panthers kept the score close in the first half, Notre Dame shot 72 percent after the break – including from 62.5 percent from three – to pull away in the second.

Notre Dame quickly regained the lead after the break on an Eric Atkins jumper and claimed the advantage for good on an Alex Dragicevich layup with 17:03 left in the game.

The Fighting Irish hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the second half

to boost their 50-42 lead to 59-44 and the Panthers never recovered.

Pitt, a team traditionally known for its defense, allowed Notre Dame

open looks from the perimeter and easy lay-ups in the paint.

Lack of defensive prowess has plagued the Panthers all year and Pitt

has been unable to make up for its struggles with strong offense.

Notre Dame shot 50.9 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from

beyond the arc while the Panthers shot 40 percent from the field and a

dismal 7.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Freshman John Johnson made Pitt’s only 3-pointer.

Three Notre Dame starters reached double figures. Dragicevich led the

Irish with 22 points while Atkins and Grant each added 15 points. Jack

Cooley finished with eight points and 14 rebounds.

Talib Zanna scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds off the bench.

Ashton Gibbs scored 12, but didn’t hit a three. Nasir Robinson also

added 12 points.

Woodall didn’t hit a shot, but dished out two assists in 18 minutes

off the bench.

Pitt lost to Wagner, 59-54, at home on Friday, the Panthers second

non-conference loss this season.

The Panthers will look to get back on track at home against Cincinnati

on Jan. 1.