Men’s basketball: Pitt dominates Georgetown

By Dustin Gabler

The Pitt men’s basketball team used a nearly flawless first half to defeat No. 19 Georgetown… The Pitt men’s basketball team used a nearly flawless first half to defeat No. 19 Georgetown 72-57 and kept its record unmarked in the Big East.

Ashton Gibbs hit three 3-pointers in a 15-2 first half run that helped the Panthers (16-1, 4-0) build a 15-point lead over a struggling Georgetown (12-5, 1-4) squad that has lost three straight games. The Hoyas are off to their worst start in Big East play since the 1998-99 season.

“That was the best half I have seen any team in the nation play all year,” ESPN analyst and legendary coach, Bob Knight, said of Pitt at halftime.

Pitt, winner of six straight games, led 41-24 at the break after shooting 58 percent from the field. It was the school’s largest-ever halftime lead in a conference road game.

But the Panthers couldn’t keep up their record-setting play in the second half. The Hoyas used a 7-0 run to cut the 18-point lead to 11 late in the second half, but they were unable to come any closer.

Gibbs led the team with 22 points, and was 5 of 10 from the 3-point range.

Seniors Brad Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown were also in double figures. Wanamaker finished the game with 14 points, and Brown had 12.

In addition to his solid defensive performance, center Gary McGhee scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds, three offensive, in helping the Panthers rack up a 31-29 advantage on the boards.

Three Georgetown players reached double figures, led by Chris Wright with 14 points. Julian Vaughn and Austin Freeman added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Pitt shot 44.9 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent from three, mostly thanks to Gibbs. The Hoyas shot 38 percent from the field and only 25 percent from three.

The Hoyas’ only Big East win was over annual conference bottom feeder, DePaul.

The Panthers, on the other hand, continue to roll after their lone loss to Tennessee in early December. With its 4-0 unblemished record in the Big East, Pitt is tied with Villanova and Syracuse for first place in the conference.

The Panthers will host Seton Hall on Saturday, aiming to focus on the Pirates and not allow themselves to look ahead to a fellow top-five team in Syracuse that will come to town on Jan. 17.