Pitt picked up a seventh win in its last nine games, with a 56-46 win over Seton Hall. Pitt improves to 19-5 overall, 7-4 in the Big East. Seton Hall slips to 13-10 overall, 2-8 in the Big East.
Fuquan Edwin led all scorers with 23 points in a losing effort. Lamar Patterson and Tray Woodall led Pitt with 12 points and 11 points, respectively. Patterson also pulled down ten rebounds, good enough for the fourth double-double of his career. Steven Adams finished with eight points and a game-high 15 points. The Panthers finished with a 40-28 edge on the glass.
"It was a good win for us against a team that can be dangerous," head coach Jamie Dixon said afterwards. "We did it with the rebounding, we did it with the defense and we held them to 33 percent shooting. That's what we wanted to do."
Adams' 15 rebounds were a career-high, Patterson's double-double was the fourth of his career. Team-wise, the 46 points allowed were the lowest allowed in the Seton Hall series (53 games) The 34.8 shooting percentage was the lowest by Pitt all year. Seton Hall didn't fare much bette, shooting 14-42.
"It sounds stupid, but we were trying to make them shoot three's," Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said. "It's direct opposite of what I try to do defensively. They have such a size advantage over people, we were just trying to make them shoot three's."
The first half started off entertaining for Pitt, went into a lull for about ten minutes, then picked up in the final five minutes.
When Patterson opened the scoring with a pair of spot three-pointers, it looked like Pitt was ready to roll to another win. That wasn't the case, at least for the rest of the first half.
Despite Pitt having the lead for a little more than the first 16 minutes of the game, things quickly went ugly for Pitt's offense. Despite an 0-6 stretch from the field for a span of 6:21, Pitt still held the lead during that entire stretch. That's large in part to Seton Hall faring similarly, shooting just 3-15 in the first thirteen minutes.
Pitt found its scoring touch late in the half thanks to a jumper from J.J. Moore. He extended Pitt's lead to 14-10, despite the drought.
The Pirates took its first lead of the game on a step back three-pointer from Edwin, with just 3:39 left in the half. Seton Hall led 21-18. Durand Johnson was able to answer for Pitt, keeping the game tied at 21-21. Edwin answered again on the next possession, putting Seton Hall back up 24-21.
Adams was able to get inside for a layup with just remaining the half. Adams was fouled, and converted his free throw attempt. The game was tied at 24-24 after one half.
Though Pitt worked to tie the game up once again, Seton Hall staged a late rally over those final few minutes of the half. The Pirates converted 4-8 shot in the final 7:50 of the half. Pitt was 4-12 over the same stretch. Each team had just one field goal in the final two minutes of the half; Seton Hall converting 1-2 shots, Pitt 1-6.
Both teams traded early buckets before Pitt went on an 8-0 run, claiming a 35-28 lead. After a jumper from Edwin--Seton Hall's biggest offensive punch all night--Woodall answered with a three-pointer. That started the 8-0 run, which was capped by a three-pointer from Moore.
Edwin ended a three-minute scoring drought for his team with a short jumper. A three-pointer from Brian Oliver cut Pitt's lead to 36-34 with 12:15 left.
Seton Hall was able to tie the game at 38-38 as Gene Teague worked his way inside for a bucket. Pitt answered as Patterson fed to Adams underneath, countering Teague's move to put Pitt back up 40-39 with 9:24 left.
Then, both teams took a turn for the dramatic--one for the good, one for the bad. Attempting to run down the floor on defense, Edwin landed awkwardly on his right foot. He was helped off the court by Willard and the team trainer. Though it looked serious enough to be done for the night, Edwin did return. However, favored that right leg for the rest of the game. Despite remaining on the floor, he couldn't provide that same scoring touch that kept his team in the game.
"I hate to see a great player go down like that," Wright added. "I thought he was out pretty quick, though. I'm not sure he was all that injured, because when he came ack in he was being aggressive. That was a crucial part, at the time. The momentum was already in our favor before he went down."
Pitt took a turn for the positive when Patterson fired a hard pass to Adams underneath. This time, Adams rolled off his defender, spinning in for a dunk. However, Adams was given a technical foul on the play. Seton hall sent Kyle Smyth to the line, who made both free throw shots. Though they maintained possession, the Pirates couldn't capitalize. Pitt still led 42-41.
Patterson again fed Wright for an easy layup. That made the score 46-41 in favor of Pitt with a little over five minutes left in the game. Willard called timeout to slow the game down for his team.
"I have a lot of great teammates who can create," Wright said. "They do a great job of finding me."
Despite going without a field goal over the last 5:19, Pitt turned a five-point lead into a 10-point win over those final few minutes. Pitt converted 8-8 free throws in the final 3:37 of the game, after converting 11-19 up to that point, taking their margin into double digits.
"It's a good win, it keeps our momentum going," Patterson said. "We like to take one game at a time. Right now, we just have to get ready for Cincinnati."