January 27, 2007
Panthers put on clinic against St. Johns
In the recent resurgence of Pitt basketball under Ben Howland and Jamie Dixon, certain principles have emerged as tenets of the team's style: Outrebounding opponents by ten, holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, and committing fewer than 12 turnovers.
On Saturday, the 2006-07 Panthers put on a clinic in playing their style of basketball when they throttled St. John's 72-46 at the Petersen Events Center. Senior center Aaron Gray led the No. 9 Panthers (19-3, 7-1 Big East) with game-highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
"We played very well," Dixon said after the game. "We had a lot of respect for how they were playing, maybe that was helpful for us."
Dixon and the Panthers may have held St. John's in high esteem for their recent back-to-back wins over Notre Dame and Syracuse, but the Red Storm did little to earn any respect on Saturday. In fact, they were prey to each of Pitt's three mainstays:
1. St. John's shot 32 percent from the field, hitting just 17-of-53 shots. That was the second-lowest field goal percentage by a Pitt opponent this season, behind Florida A&M's 31.7 percent. St. John's' shooting rate included a 4-of-24 mark from 3-point range.
As is often the case, Pitt's opponents shot poorly because the Panthers forced difficult shots.
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