With the Super Bowl in Pittsburgh’s rearview mirror, the city can finally focus on the Pittsburgh Panthers basketball program.
The Panthers (22-1, 10-1 Big East) were without leading scorer Ashton Gibbs, but still managed to beat West Virginia (15-8, 6-5 Big East) 71-66 in Morgantown.
Four of five Panthers starters were in double figures. Forward Nasir Robinson scored a team high 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Gary McGhee added 13 points and 6 rebounds, Travon Woodall, who replaced Gibbs in the starting lineup, scored 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals and senior Brad Wanamaker scored 11 points and collected 9 rebounds.
On the other side of the spectrum is West Virginia who only had one starter in double figures. Although, Deniz Kilicli did score a game high 19 points off the bench, forward Kevin Jones was the only starter in double figures, he scored 12 points. Forward John Flowers and guard Joe Mazzulla combined to score 9 points in the contest.
I mentioned in the previous article that I did think Pittsburgh could win this game at West Virginia without Gibbs. I thought they could win because when a player goes down, others step up and that is what happened. I mentioned how Woodall has the capability of being a quality guard on any other team instead of a back up in Pittsburgh. He can be inconsistent at times and that is what holds him back. It was nice to see him only turn the ball over once throughout the entire game.
Gary McGhee has been outstanding inside for the Panthers. Wanamaker scored in double figures for the first time in a few games. Pittsburgh only made one three but only shot six total. Pittsburgh was the more aggressive team on the glass as they out-rebounded the Mountaineers 39-25.
I believe that this game can be crucial for Pittsburgh’s morale down the stretch run, but I do believe that they need Gibbs back as soon as possible, obviously.
We will see what will happen when Pittsburgh travels to #10 Villanova on Saturday.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.