Role Players Pick Up Slack in Panthers' Win Over Mountaineers
The Panthers were without leading scorer Ashton Gibbs -- who will miss up to two weeks with an MCL injury -- but a few role players picked up the slack, and Pitt got their normal production out of senior guards Brad Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown.
West Virginia (15-8, 6-5) led at the break and the teams played close for the early portion of the second half. But a 9-2 run by the Panthers -- capped off by a Travon Woodall three -- gave Pitt a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Woodall, who started in place of the injured Gibbs, finished with 12 points. Nasir Robinson led Pittsburgh with 15, and Wanamaker added 11 points and nine boards.
Deniz Kilicli led the Mountaineers, scoring a career high 19 points. Kevin Jones added 12 for WVU, who have now lost two straight. The Mountaineers will get a brief break in their schedule this weekend when they face lowly DePaul, but they then play five of their last six against ranked opponents.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, now sits a full two games ahead of their nearest challenger in the Big East standings -- Notre Dame -- after the win. The Irish will play another team vying for the title -- Louisville -- Wednesday night in South Bend. Though they face Villanova twice and will travel to Louisville, the remainder of the Panthers schedule gives them a solid chance of hanging on to the Big East regular-season championship.