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Pitt pulls away to blow out South Carolina State

pitt-pulls-away-to-blow-out-south-carolina-state

Back in action for the first time in a week, Pittsburgh shook off some early cobwebs and locked in late in the first half, pulling away from visiting South Carolina State for an 86-50 victory.

Blake Hinson finished with a game-high 19 points, while Ishmael Leggett had 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots for the Panthers (8-3).

Despite pulling down 10 offensive boards in the first half, the Bulldogs (3-9) capitalized for only four second-chance points. They shot only 25.8 percent (8 for 31) from the field in the first half — including 2 for 13 from 3-point range — but a shaky Pitt act allowed them to keep within two buckets for much of the first 15 minutes.

Over the final 2:30 of the half, Leggett played a large part in a 10-0 surge that carried the Panthers into the break with a 16-point lead.

He assisted on a Jaland Lowe trey and a Guillermo Diaz Graham dunk on consecutive possessions, then sank a pair of free throws on the next. With six seconds before the buzzer, Leggett dished a pass to Hinson, who cashed in for a 3-pointer.

Pitt totaled 11 assists in the first half and scored 18 of its 36 points down low.

Runs of eight, 10 and 14 points in the second half helped the Panthers get up by as many as 38 points in the second half. South Carolina State scored the fewest points of any Pitt opponent this season.

Zack Austin added 12 points for the Panthers.

Atiba Taylor came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 14 points. Nobody else scored more than seven.

Pitt, which has won three in a row to answer a rough stretch in which it dropped three of four, will finish off its nonconference portion of the regular season Wednesday night vs visiting Purdue Fort Wayne.

–Field Level Media

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