Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Talib Zanna racked up 22 points on 9-
of-10 shooting and No. 20 Pittsburgh dominated Clemson from start-to-finish en
route to a 76-43 rout at Petersen Events Center.
The Panthers (17-2, 5-1 ACC) bounced back strongly from Saturday's tough 59-54
loss at No. 2 Syracuse, using a smothering defensive display and an efficient
offensive attack to hand the Tigers their most lopsided loss of the season.
"There was no way I anticipated getting that margin of victory against a very
good team who's been playing very good basketball and who coming in was one
game out of first place. We played well on both sides. We defended well and
the unselfishness was great," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said.
Lamar Patterson had 13 points and six assists and Cameron Wright chipped in 12
points for a Pittsburgh squad that shot a robust 56.3 percent from the floor.
Josh Newkirk added 10 points off the bench.
Clemson (13-5, 4-2), on the other hand, went just 16-of-50 from the field and
had a three-game win streak halted. Top scorer K.J. McDaniels, averaging 16.7
points per game coming in, managed just 11 on a 4-of-11 success rate.
"I am certainly disappointed with our effort tonight. We didn't play to a very
good standard," Tigers head coach Brad Brownell said.
McDaniels hit a short jumper on the game's initial possession, but the
Panthers scored the next 11 points to quickly put Clemson in a hole. Zanna
tallied six points during the early run, which was aided by four turnovers by
Pittsburgh made good on six of its first eight shot attempts to open up a 20-8
lead 8 1/2 minutes in, and the margin grew to 14 points shortly after when
Patterson sank two free throws on the heels of a Zanna dunk to give the
Panthers a 24-10 advantage.
The Panthers kept pouring it on, with a James Robinson 3-pointer that was
followed by two Zanna layups in transition increasing the differential to
35-18 with 2:41 left in the half. Pittsburgh was ahead by as many as 19 points
prior to cruising into the break up by a comfortable 37-20 count.
Pitt put the game well out of reach before the midway stage of the second
half, putting forth a 12-0 surge capped by back-to-back Zanna buckets that
increased the lead to 54-24 with 11:58 remaining.
The Tigers went scoreless for more than seven minutes during the burst,
misfiring on six shots and turning it over four more times.
The loss was Clemson's worst since a 78-41 drubbing at Virginia on Feb. 7 of
last season ... Pittsburgh was credited with 24 assists on 27 baskets, led by
Robinson's eight ... Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon improved to 16-0 lifetime
against ACC teams not including Syracuse and Notre Dame, who defected from the
Big East along with the Panthers this season ... The schools had faced one
another just once previously, a 60-50 Pitt win in the Carrousel Tournament in
Charlotte in December of 1958.
The Sports Network