Pitt beats No. 19 Georgetown, 73-45
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WASHINGTON -- Of all the places Pitt will miss after leaving the Big East, the Verizon Center is at the top of the list. It turned out all Pitt needed to cure its problems was a visit to its favorite Big East road venue.
The Panthers came up with a victory they desperately needed when the knocked off No. 19 Georgetown, 73-45, at the Verizon Center. The win came on the heels of two losses to Cincinnati and Rutgers to open Big East play.
Pitt (13-3, 1-2) beat Georgetown for the 12th time in the past 18 meetings. The Panthers won seven of their final nine games against the Hoyas at the Verizon Center. The game tonight was the final scheduled game in the series because Pitt is moving to the ACC next season.
It was the worst home loss for the Hoyas in more than a decade. The previous was a 23-point loss to Notre Dame in 2000.
The Panthers will try to even their conference record at 2-2 Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center when they play host to Marquette.
Talib Zanna led Pitt with 15 points. Tray Woodall added 11 for the Panthers, who shot 55 percent from the field.
Pitt led 37-22 at halftime and built its lead to 18 in the early stages of the second half after Woodall converted two free throws after Georgetown coach John Thompson III was called for a technical foul.
Thompson protested after Nate Lubick was called for a foul after he and Pitt center Steven Adams tumbled to the floor after going for a rebound.
The lead grew to 19 after Durand Johnson made a 3-pointer to make it 47-28 with 12:49 remaining. Georgetown scored the next six points, but the Hoyas could not sustain their play.
Pitt followed with an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach. An Adams dunk off a press break was followed by two offensive rebounds by J.J. Moore and Lamar Patterson and then two free throws by Moore after he was fouled.
Pitt shot 57.7 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. The Panthers made a concerted effort to attack the basket after settling for 3-point attempts in their loss Saturday at Rutgers.
The Panthers scored 18 of their points in the lane, which opened up outside shooting lanes. The Panthers capitalized by making four of their five attempts from 3-point range in the half.
Zanna led the Panthers with eight points and Woodall had seven. Zanna scored all of his points in the final 4:10 of the half.
Zanna's outburst was timely because Porter trimmed Pitt's lead to 24-17 after making three free throws. Zanna helped the Panthers finish the half on a 13-5 run for the 15-point halftime lead, which was the third-largest for Pitt in Big East road games. The largest was a 22-point halftime lead at Villanova in 1994 and the second-largest was a 17-point lead at Georgetown two years ago.
Georgetown struggled to find an offensive rhythm. The Hoyas shot 37.5 percent and committed nine turnovers.
Pitt held Otto Porter, Georgetown's leading scorer, without a field goal in the first half. Greg Whittington, the team's second-leading scorer, had one basket.
The only offense Georgetown was able to generate was by driving to the hoop and getting fouled. The Hoyas scored nine of their points at the free-throw line and only had six field goals in the half.
NOTES -- Pitt played at the Verizon Center for the first time since losing to Butler in the 2011 NCAA tournament ... Georgetown had been 8-0 in home games this season???
First Published January 8, 2013 11:16 pm