Saturday , Nov , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Panthers breeze past Minutemen

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Aaron Gray and Mike Cook scored 14 points
each to lead the fourth-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers to an 85-68 victory over
the Massachusetts Minutemen in the round-robin play of the Colonial Athletic
Association Basketball Classic.

Levance Fields scored 13 and grabbed five rebounds for Pitt (4-0). Antonio
Graves scored 12 and Tyrell Briggs added 11 and eight boards for the Panthers.

“I thought we did a great job passing the ball today, and then knocking down
open looks when we had the opportunity,” said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon.

Stephane Lasme scored 17 and pulled down nine rebounds for UMass (2-1). James
Life scored 15 on four-of-six shooting from behind the three-point arc.
Rashaun Freeman scored 14 and Gary Forbes added 12 for the Minutemen.

“Pitt is a great team that definitely deserves to be ranked in the top five in
the country,” said UMass head coach Travis Ford.

Pitt’s stifling defense took control of the game late in the first half, and
never let up. The Panthers held UMass scoreless for the final 3:13 of the
opening 20 minutes to stretch open what had been a close game. Pitt scored the
last seven points of the half to take a 46-37 lead into halftime.

A three-pointer from Fields gave the Panthers a 51-40 lead just under two
minutes in to the second half, and the Panthers coasted the rest of the way,
leading by as many as 19 on their way to the 17-point win.

Game Notes

Gray had to leave early in the second half after cutting his lip. He received
stitches, and returned…Pitt’s bench outscored UMass’s, 24-10…Pitt had 14
more shots from the field than UMass, 62-48…Massachusetts shot 50 percent
(7-of-14) from three-point range, Pitt 47 percent (8-of-17)…Pitt has won 61
of its last 62 home games against regular season non-conference
opponents…Pitt improved to 60-3 vs. non-conference opponents over the last
six seasons