Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pitt Beats Down The Irish

Notre Dame came out firing against Pitt today and gave us a nerve-wracking start that saw the Irish nailing treys like they had Chris Quinn back in the lineup. Thankfully, the Panthers came out blazing hot and ruggedly tough in the second half and bowled over, around, and through the hated Notre Dame Fighting Irish en route to a 93-80 W. It was one hell of a way to rebound from the disappointing loss earlier this week to Villanova.

The key for Pitt was DeJuan Blair. The guy spent the better part of the afternoon drinking Luke Harangody's milkshake. I walked away from this game very unimpressed with the highly touted Harangody. The Grizzly Blair had a 10/18 shooting day with 23 points and a ridiculous 22 boards including an absolutely unheard off 11 offensive boards. Harangody just couldn't bang with the infinitely more physical Blair. Most of Gody's gaudy 27 points came in garbage time when the Panthers had the game in hand.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up the stupendous work of Levance Fields and Ashton Gibbs. On a day when Sam I Am could get anything going offensively or defensively, Fieldsy and Gibbs were absolute money. Gibbs had 13 points in 17 minutes, 11 of them coming in the first half as he was really the biggest reason that Pitt was able to stay close to the Irish early on. Guy was crazy good.Fields did the usual floor general stuff, 7 helpers and 0 turnovers. Ridiculous. He also poured in a very effective and very efficient 17 points and a pair of treys.

I also can't believe I made it through this much of the article without mentioning Jermaine Dixon. The guy is so good on defense I think Dick LeBeau might sign him away this off-season. He also drained all three treys he took en route to 16 points.

Like I said, this game a freaking beatdown in the second half. The Irish's fantastic start was spurred by out-of-this-world shooting, mainly by role player Luke Zeller who was averaging a whopping 6 points per game. Zeller had 18 first half points, all on treys, but predictably disappeared. And when it came time for the real basketball players to take over, it was all P-I-T-T.

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