The Pitt Panthers had an early tilt Sunday afternoon against Central Arkansas and the Panthers looked from the opening tip like they wanted to get this one over with.
Freshman point guard Damon Wilson led three Pitt players in double figures with a career-high 20 points as the Panthers dominated the Bears from the opening tip in a 100-47 victory.
Jamel Artis finished with 17 and Chris Jones added 13 in the Pitt win.
The Pitt (6-1) offense continues to roll as they shot 54 percent (37-of-68) from the floor in the contest and 47 percent (9-of-19) from three-point range.
“After the Duquesne game, we talked to our guys about the quick turnaround,” said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. “We had to find a way to get better. It was an opponent we should have beaten, but I liked the maturity, the preparation and the execution. I like the way we handled things.”
Central Arkansas (1-7) was led in scoring by Jordan Howard with nine.
It was the first time since 2007 that Pitt has hit the 100-point mark, when they did so against Houston Baptist.
Over Quickly- Yes it was against Central Arkansas, but this Pitt offense clearly can score the basketball, putting up another 50-point first half.
Damon Wilson led all first-half scorers with 11 off the bench and Jamel Artis chipped in 10 in the game’s first 20 minutes. Nine different Panthers players found their way into the scoring column in the first half as Pitt took a 50-23 lead into the locker room.
Pitt shot 56 percent (18-of-32) from the floor in the early going and 50 percent (6-of-12) from behind the arc.
“I’m just letting it come to me,” said Wilson. “I’m playing through the system.
Bench Production- The Pitt bench outscored the Central Arkansas team on the afternoon 51-47.
Overall 11 different players found their way into the scoring column for the Panthers.
“We have been picking up the intensity in practice,” said Jones. “We have a lot of guys who can shoot it well. Our guards did a great job of penetrating today and finding the open guys. Almost all of our shots were wide open ones.”
Sharing is Caring- Pitt once again made it a habit of sharing the basketball effectively.
The Panthers assisted on 29 of 37 made field goals. Twelve different Panthers players had at least one assist with Jones and James Robinson leading the way with five each
“We are playing for each other,” Wilson said. “We have a lot of guys on the floor that can make shots. We are so unselfish as a team and everyone is out there looking for each other.”
Getting Defensive- The Panthers defensive effort was pretty impressive against an under matched Bears team.
The Panthers limited Central Arkansas to just 32 percent (19-of-60) percent shooting from the floor and just eight percent (1-of-12) from behind the arc. Pitt also outrebounded the Bears 52-34 on the afternoon, which was an emphasis heading into the game.
“Defense and rebounding was really the emphasis the past couple of days even though the numbers have been good,” Dixon said. “We aren’t where we want to be at and that is the emphasis going forward.”
Redshirts- Dixon announced after the game that guard Jonathan Milligan and center Rozelle Nix will redshirt this season.
“Rozelle is still in the boot,” said Dixon. “It looks like we will be redshirting him. Milligan has some injuries and some family issues so we will be redshirting him as well.”
Pitt will be back in action on Friday when they play host to Eastern Washington.
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