No. 23 Pitt 64, South Florida 44: Postgame Recap and Audio
By: Nate Barnes
Pitt Men’s basketball used a 16-0 run in the middle part of the second half to pull away from the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday night at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt outscored South Florida 38-19 in the second half en route to a 64-44 victory. Seniors Tray Woodall and Dante Taylor led Pitt (22-7, 10-6 Big East) in their penultimate home game against South Florida (10-17, 1-14) with Woodall posting a team-high 14 points and Taylor registering his first double-double of the season on the strength of 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Woodall scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half, with his two 3-pointers in the final minutes putting the dagger in the Bulls’ chest and a signature on his performance.
Similar to the Seton Hall game a few weeks ago, Pitt started slowly in the first half and held only a one-point lead at halftime, 26-25. Both teams were relatively miserable on the offensive end, combining to shoot 16-50 from the field and Pitt converting only 26.9 percent of its shot attempts in that first half. But in the second half, Pitt caught fire as they shot 59.1 percent from the field. Meanwhile, Pitt’s defense continued to hold the Bulls down on offense, limiting the opposition to just 26.1 percent shooting in the second half and a miserable 19 points.
Pitt out-rebounded USF by a wide margin, 42-25 in the always important rebounding statistic. The 10 rebounds from Taylor plus six from Steven Adams and seven from Talib Zanna helped the Panthers attain that margin. Adams also finished with a career-high five blocks on Wednesday. South Florida’s leading scorer entering the contest, Victor Rudd, led the Bulls with a game-high 16 points but needed 19 field goal attempts to reach his tally. No other Bull scored more than seven points. For Pitt, Woodall and Taylor led the way with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Pitt received an effective performance from its bench overall with 28 points coming from the reserves, led by Taylor’s effort and nine points from J.J. Moore.
Up next for the Panthers is their final home game of the season on Sunday when they take on Villanova at 12:00. It will be Senior Day for both Woodall and Taylor as they will take the Petersen Events Center floor for the last time. WPTS will be on the call for this game with Panther Pregame beginning at 11:45.
Head Coach Jamie Dixon
Pitt Players- Dante Taylor, Tray Woodall, and James Robinson
South Florida Head Coach Stan Heath