acious defence. When Pittsburgh plays like it
16-08-2019, 04:14 PM
Post: #1
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Unselfish offence, tenacious defence. When Pittsburgh plays like it did in routing Colorado 77-48 in the South Regional on Thursday, the ninth-seeded Panthers think they are capable of competing with anyone. It was difficult to argue against that after Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half and Pitt built a 28-point lead. However, coach Jamie Dixon and his players know they will have to be even better to go deeper in the NCAA tournament. "Were a better team now than we were earlier in the year," Dixon said. "Thats what you hope to be." The Panthers (26-9) shot 51 per cent from the field and played one of their best games of the season defensively in advancing to a third-round matchup Saturday against either No. 1 seed Florida or No. 16 seed Albany. Dixon said the Panthers have been feeling a lot better about themselves since winning two of three games in last weeks Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, including a quarterfinal victory over North Carolina. "I think last week opened our eyes," Dixon said. "We didnt win the tournament, but we thought we could have." Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt centre made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didnt have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes. "Weve got to take care of the ball better and weve got to guard better and weve got to rebound better," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "We didnt do any of those things today. I dont know what Colorado team it was." Josh Scott led the Buffaloes with 14 points, however Colorado couldnt overcome a subpar performance from Askia Booker, who missed his first seven shots and didnt score from the field until 4 minutes into the second half. Cameron Wright had 11 points and Lamar Patterson finished with 10 for Pitt, which moved from the Big East to the ACC this season, where it finished fifth. Zanna, who had a monster game in the ACC tournament with 19 points and 21 rebounds against North Carolina, didnt attempt a shot in the second half, when Dixon gave his starters plenty of rest. Michael Young had nine points in 21 minutes and no regular played more than 30. "I was just trying to be patient. I know if Im open, the ball is going to come to me," said Zanna, a senior from Kaduna, Nigeria. "I was wide open just trying to run the floor, and I was just having wide-open layups." Colorado, whose 23 wins are the second-most in school history, entered the game coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season in 20-point loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament. The Buffaloes were limited to a season-low 15 field goals while shooting 29 per cent from the field with Scott finishing with a season-low four points and two rebounds. It didnt get any better against Pitt, which is in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time in 11 seasons under Dixon. The Panthers lost in the second round to Wichita State a year ago and will be looking for their first trip to the round of 16 since 2009. "They came out from the start and got on us early and we werent able to recover," Colorados Xavier Johnson said. "No one wants to go out like that, so it hurts. But that will motivate us to get better in the off-season." Colorado shot 29.4 per cent from the field in the opening half, with Booker missing all four of his attempts from the field and being limited to two free throws. Scott had five points on 2-for-3 shooting, but an even bigger indication of the teams troubles: the Buffaloes had zero assists and 10 turnovers. Pitt, meanwhile, matched its point total for its previous game, a 51-48 loss to Virginia in the semifinals of last weeks ACC tournament. The Panthers had 13 assists on 18 baskets in the first 20 minutes, and they outscored Colorado 12-2 in points off turnovers in building the 28-point halftime lead. Booker, like Scott averaging 14 points per game, finished with six on 2-for-9 shooting. Johnson scored 11 points for the Buffaloes, who made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to avoid finishing with fewer points than Pitt scored in the opening half alone. "You go in at halftime down 28, theres not a lot you can say to your guys positively, other than the fact that we had to come out and compete -- and you shouldnt have to ask our guys to do that," Boyle said. "We never gave up. These guys kept battling. It just wasnt our day," he added. "You look at every statistical category you want to. When you have five assists and 17 turnovers, its hard." The 29-point defeat was the largest-ever for the Buffaloes in the NCAA tournament. The previous low point was a 73-46 loss to eventual national champion Cincinnati in 1962. Colorado Avalanche Jerseys . Every once in awhile, it seems like life lets dreams become real - and that is a gift. Nikita Zadorov Avalanche Jersey . Although the deal cannot be made official until the free agent moratorium period is lifted on July 10, Patterson has agreed to a three-year, $18 million extension to remain in Toronto, sources confirm to TSN. http://www.hockeyavalanche.com/authentic-matt-nieto-avalanche-jersey/ . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process. Ian Cole Jersey . -- D.A. Points was disqualified Friday from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for using a training device while waiting to play the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. John Wensink Avalanche Jersey . Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist as Phoenix held on to snap a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.TORONTO - By the end of Thursdays three hour-and 32-minute, triple-overtime marathon, the longest game in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors had run out of gas while nearly running out of active bodies. Two of the Raptors starters, along with their sixth man, had fouled out after gutting out a couple of extra periods playing hurt. One starter was absent, having left for the locker room earlier in the game with an injury and another was mired in one of the worst games in his professional career. "I feel like if we would have had everybody in the game, we probably would have come up with the win," said Amir Johnson, who - playing on a couple of sore ankles - picked up his sixth foul late in the first overtime, as his team went on to fall 132-129 to the Washington Wizards at home. Patrick Patterson was whistled for his sixth minutes earlier, while Kyle Lowry - hobbling on an ankle he tweaked going in for a potential game-winning drive at the end of regulation - fouled out two minutes before the night came to a merciful end. Terrence Ross, who scored a team-high 11 points in the first half, did not return for the second after he, too, suffered an ankle injury. As a team, the Raptors, until very late in the fourth, were outworked in a game that seemed to mean more to the visiting Wizards, losers of three straight to Toronto this season, than it did to the home team. Overall, Washington grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, registered 80 points in the paint, bested the Raptors 21-6 in second-chance points and held a 10-point edge in fast break scoring. Still, the Raptors were right there with a chance to steal a victory they probably didnt deserve at the end of regulation and as the clock expired to close the first OT period. "I like the way we battled," said coach Dwane Casey, "even through the foul trouble and also with injuries." "Coach told us before the game its going to be a playoff-atmosphere game," said DeMar DeRozan, the lone starter on the floor when the Wizards finally began to pull away in the third OT. "Thats what it was. We fought to the end, we just couldnt get no stops in overtime." DeRozan led the Raptors with 34 points in 57 minutes. Lowry logged 54 minutes, 13 in extra time, despite coming down awkwardly on his ankle after just missing the go-ahead layup ahead of the fourth-quarter buzzer. Again, the ball was in the hands of the Raptors point guard in a similar situation five minutes later when the trailing John Wall blocked his runner in the lane. "He stayed in the game, but he turned his ankle real bad on that play," Casey said. "I thought Kyle still battled on defence and I thought he was huge for us." How was his ankle feeling after the game? "Its great," Lowry said with a smirk on his face, withholding - not surprisingly - any pain from the hoard of media. "A game like this, the bumps and bruises hurt a little bit more," said Johnson, who had 16 points annd nine rebounds in 42 minutes, "especially when you come up short and there were so many times we could have ended the game and won the game.ddddddddddddIt was a tough loss." “We wanted to win the game," Lowry added after just missing out on a triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. "At the end of the day, we go out there and try to win every single night. We dont try to just go out there and compete and say, ‘Oh, we gave it our best shot. We go out there and try to win every single game." Three-point shooting kept Toronto in striking distance as the Raptors knocked down 12 of their 30 attempts from long range, including four from Greivis Vasquez, who stepped up in Rosss stead. Vasquez recorded a season-high 26 points to go along with eight assists in 38 minutes off the bench, his most productive game since coming over in the December trade from Sacramento. With the win, the fifth-place Wizards avoided the season-series sweep with Toronto and pulled within two games of the Raptors for the third seed in the East. Although it was a long night for everyone involved - Casey ended up using all 13 players available to him - it couldnt have ended soon enough for Jonas Valanciunas, who had a game to forget. Once Patterson and Johnson fouled out in OT, Casey reluctantly went back to Valanciunas, though he had been sitting on the bench since late in the third quarter. Understandably, the 21-year-old was out of rhythm and lacking in the confidence department. It showed. The sophomore had difficulty keeping up with Marcin Gortat - who scored a career-best 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, seven of them offensive - and negated one of his own teams buckets on an offensive goaltending call. Casey rotated in the likes of Tyler Hansbrough and Chuck Hayes, Steve Novak and Landry Fields - the three had not played more than a few seconds until OT - when it became apparent the Raptors starting centre was causing more harm than good. Although Casey wouldnt point the finger at the young seven-footer, given the length of time he spent on the bench before re-entering, "it wasnt fair to Jonas," he said, Valanciunas was far more critical of himself after the loss. "I feel really sad," he said with his head down. "Weve got to learn from [our] mistakes. I feel really bad right now. I could do a much better job than what I did. Im going to watch the film, learn from it to not repeat it next game." Luckily, the Raptors will have a couple of days off to rest, recuperate and regroup before hosting the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, their only game in the next seven days. "We just go over the mistakes we made on film [and] clean them up," Johnson said. "It just makes you realize how much talent we have on this team, what we can do." "[Were] going to go over film, rest our bodies [and] come back strong." ' ' '


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)