New Castle News

Pitt

December 4, 2011

Pitt Basketball: Panthers ‘grind out’ win over Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Ashton Gibbs' confident play may finally be catching on with the younger Pittsburgh Panthers.

It at least paid off with a clutch three-point play by freshman John Johnson with 2 seconds left that helped seal No. 17 Pittsburgh's 61-56 win over Tennessee on Saturday in the Big East/SEC Challenge.

"We've got who knows how many freshmen out there, and I think (Gibbs') confidence kind of spread to the team as the game went on, and those young guys made some good plays," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon said.

The Volunteers (3-4) had whittled an eight-point Pittsburgh lead down to just two with 11 seconds remaining. Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon intentionally fouled Dante Taylor, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity.

Maymon pulled in the rebound and passed to Trae Golden, who charged down the floor only to encounter Gibbs, who smothered the ball in his hands until the referee called a jump ball, with the possession arrow favoring the Panthers (7-1).

Johnson, a freshman playing in place of injured Travon Woodall, took the ball after a timeout, hit a layup on the break as he was fouled by Skylar McBee and sank the free throw.

"We found a way. We grinded it out," Dixon said. "We had to get stops down the stretch and that's what we did. We had everything that could go wrong, go wrong at the end with an eight point lead and the ball.

With 54 seconds left and the eight-point lead, Gibbs was called for a flagrant foul after elbowing Golden, who was trying to foul him. Golden sank one of two foul shots.

Tennessee retained possession, and Cameron Tatum hit a layup to cut the Panthers' lead to five.

Lamar Patterson and Dante Taylor both missed free throws for Pittsburgh, and Golden sank a 3 with 11 seconds left to cut the margin to 58-56. Taylor then missed his second foul shot, which set up Gibbs' clutch defensive stop.

"Coach (Cuonzo) Martin told us not to give up," Golden said. "That's one thing he stressed to us. We kept fighting. Bad luck of the draw with the tie up. I think we felt confident once Dante Taylor missed that. I came down, and we were down by two. It was a tough draw."

Nasir Robinson had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Gibbs added another 16 points for the Panthers, who have won five straight since losing to Long Beach State on Nov. 16.

Tatum had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Tennessee, which has dropped four of its last five. Golden and Maymon each had 12 points.

The game was a rematch of last year's Big East/SEC Invitational game at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center. The then-11th-ranked Vols won that one 83-76, handing the third-ranked Panthers their first non-conference loss in their home city in nearly six years.

This installment featured far different lineups but was possibly more physical and definitely more competitive.

The teams traded the lead eight times in the first half alone with two ties.

Despite tough defense on both sides, both teams muscled their way inside for most of their baskets. The Vols got 18 of their first-half points in the paint, while the Panthers scored 12.

The first few minutes of the second half was more of the same until Tennessee's defense began to break down.

That allowed Pittsburgh to get three easy shots close to the basket in a 2-minute stretch. From there, the Panthers took control of the offensive boards and turned a 17-7 offensive rebounding advantage into 18 total second-chance points.

"I think the key to the game in a nutshell was offensive rebounding," Martin said. "Pitt did a good job of attacking the glass. We've got to do a better job there."

Gibbs, who struggled against the Vols last season, warmed up as well, hitting two jumpers and a 3-point shot in a short stretch. Gibbs followed that up with a long field goal with 5:01 left that gave Pittsburgh a 53-45 lead.

"My teammates did a good job of screening for me, and I just made a play," Gibbs said. 'We finished plays, we played defense, we rebounded the ball well. That's how you get a win on the road."

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pitt
  • Pitt Football: Panthers beef up lines in 2013 recruiting class

    There’s a formula Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst likes to use when building a team: start with the inside and go from there. Given a year to figure out what he’s got on his hands with the Panthers, Chryst hit the recruiting trail this winter with one goal in mind.

    February 7, 2013

  • d3262194ae25b01c1d0f6a706700680a.jpg ‘Sad Day”: College football guru Beano Cook dies at 81

    Beano Cook, the college football commentator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport he dearly loved, has died. The 81-year-old Boston native had worked for ESPN since 1986 and was the sports information director at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, from 1956 to 1966. The school announced Thursday that Cook had died in his sleep.

    October 12, 2012 1 Photo

  • Burns1.jpg ‘God was watching over him’: Derrick Burns is finding a way to adjust to life without football

    Everything about Derrick Burns screams football player. The broad shoulders, muscular legs — even the football he constantly carries around with him — make it obvious that the young man with the easy smile has got game.

    September 15, 2012 3 Photos

  • Louisville knocks off Pitt

    Russ Smith scored 18 points, Kyle Kuric added 17 and No. 17 Louisville held on to beat Pittsburgh, 57-54, on Sunday.
    Pittsburgh (15-14, 4-12) cut the lead to one and had three chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute, but Tray Woodall missed a jumper and senior Ashton Gibbs’ shot from just inside halfcourt as time expired missed off the back iron.

    February 27, 2012

  • cad161b5d4946a04070f6a7067009414.jpg Backyard Basketbrawl: West Virginia storms past Pittsburgh

    West Virginia center Deniz Kilicli doesn't know if he'll get chance to play Pittsburgh again. The next time the rivals face each other on the basketball court, Kilicli could be long gone. The burly center from Turkey didn't miss a chance to give the Mountaineers perhaps the final word in the Backyard Brawl.

    February 17, 2012 1 Photo

  • a33c310757650304070f6a7067009fe0.jpg College Basketball: Ex-Aliquippa star Pope leads Seton Hall past Pitt

    Seton Hall rode some unexpected shooting by a freshman and some steady plays by its seniors to a sorely needed win. Freshman Aaron Cosby made five 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 19 points, while Herb Pope had 19 points and 14 rebounds.

    February 13, 2012 1 Photo

  • Pitt.jpg College Basketball: South Florida ends Pitt winning streak

    South Florida’s Hugh Robertson combined a perfect night offensively with a stellar defensive performance that helped the Bulls rebound from their worst-ever Big East loss.

    February 9, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0fa44d9da3745c03060f6a70670080a0.jpg College Basketball: Woodall leads Pitt past Villanova

    Pittsburgh senior Ashton Gibbs is a happy man now that his backcourt mate, junior Tray Woodall, is back and healthy in the starting lineup. He's almost as happy as Woodall, who recovered from a groin/abdominal strain to turn in one of his best performances of the season.

    February 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • 47d130c23778fc02040f6a706700d3a4.jpg College Basketball: Pitt falls to Louisville for eighth straight loss

    Pittsburgh hoped the return of point guard Tray Woodall and a raucous home crowd would help them finally snap their nearly monthlong losing streak and earn their first Big East win of the season.

    January 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 585cca54355f0901040f6a706700b1a3.jpg College Basketball: Lifeless Pitt loses fifth straight game

    Eli Carter scored 14 points, Dane Miller added 11 points and 12 rebounds and Rutgers crushed reeling Pittsburgh 62-39 on Tuesday night.

    January 12, 2012 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results