No. 25 Notre Dame 51, No. 20 Pitt 42: Postgame Recap and Audio
By: Nate Barnes
Pitt Men’s Basketball dropped its second game in a row Monday night with a 51-42 loss to Notre Dame in one of the ugliest games Panther fans have likely witnessed at the Petersen Events Center since it opened. No. 20 Pitt (20-7, 8-6 Big East) started the contest on a 19-3 run at the behest of a 0-9 start from the field by No. 25 Notre Dame (21-6, 9-5). But from there, shots started falling for the Fighting Irish and Pitt’s lead began to evaporate. Pitt held only a 22-19 lead at the half, and Notre Dame took the lead for good with 10:53 left in the contest after a lay-up by Eric Atkins.
Pitt only registered 10 total assists Monday, which was a far cry from the 17.2 assists the Panthers averaged entering the game. Additionally, Pitt was out-rebounded for the eighth time this season and lost for the sixth time in those games. Notre Dame ended up with a 40-25 advantage over Pitt on the glass. Even early on, when Pitt jumped out to its 16-point lead, the Irish still maintained an advantage on the boards.
In the second half, Notre Dame’s offense finally found its groove while Pitt’s faltered. The Irish shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, while Pitt shot 34.8 percent and was outscored 32-20. Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant ended tied for the game-high in scoring with teammate Jack Cooley at 13 points, and made a number of shots off ball-screens late in the game to keep Notre Dame’s lead at a comfortable margin. Alongside Grant, fellow backcourt-mate Atkins scored 10 points and handed out seven assists. Only one Panther finished in double-figures as Woodall ended with 11 points and Steven Adams’ eight points served as the only other tally above five.
The Panthers will look to snap their two game losing streak on Sunday when they travel to Madison Square Garden in New York to take on the St. John’s Red Storm (15-10, 7-6). Tipoff is set for 12:00 pm on Sunday.
Head Coach Jamie Dixon
Pitt Players- Dante Taylor and Tray Woodall
Jerian Grant and Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey