Last week marked the beginning of conference play in the heavily stacked Big East. After John Thompson III’s young team traveled to defeat the veteran No. 2 ranked UConn Huskies this Monday, the Georgetown head coach had one thing on his mind.
"The Commissioner is not handing out any trophies after tonight, and we have a long, difficult road ahead of us. It doesn't get any easier," Thompson said during the post-game press conference. "You can't sit and dwell on this and enjoy this too much because we have Pitt sitting there on Saturday."
The No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas (10-2), however, were no match for the No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers (14-0) this Saturday. The Panthers dominated the glass, coming up with a total of 43 rebounds, and scoring 14 points off the bench to defeat the Hoyas 70-54.
Midway through the second half, the Panthers turned a 40-40 tie into double-digit lead with a 17-4 run. While the Panthers were only three for 19 beyond the arc, they were able to compensate with 18 offensive rebounds and allowed the Hoyas to only accumulate four.
While Georgetown’s freshman center, Greg Monroe received most of the Big East’s preseason hype due to his incredible agility and speed, he was completely dominated by Pitt’s sophomore forward DeJuan Blair, who recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 17 rebounds and 20 points.
“He’s really strong. He used his strength to his advantage and that’s basically his game,” Monroe said of Blair. “[He] knows how to use his strength and that’s his whole game plan, using his strength and wide body under the basket to get points.”
While senior point guard Levance Fields only added six points to Pitt’s 70 points, he had eight assists and no turnovers to make his season assist/turnover ratio an impressive 91-to-19.
Senior forwards Tyrell Biggs and Sam Young each added 14 points for the Panthers, and sophomore Gilbert Brown contributed nine of the 14 points from the Pitt bench.
Although Pitt is renowned for its solid defense, the Panthers’ head coach Jamie Dixon attributes the win over the Hoyas to outstanding offensive play.
“What it got down to was our offense was very good, we got good shots, we didn’t shoot it well, which the numbers indicate we were 3-of-19 from three,” said Dixon, “but they were all good shots and the main part of our offense is taking good shots, which leads to better offensive rebounding opportunities and I thought this was a classic example of that.”
The Panthers will move on St. John’s next Sunday at noon at the Petersen Events Center.