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Pitt pulls off win over Purdue Fort Wayne despite sloppy shooting

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Guillermo Graham Diaz finished with a game-high 13 points as Pittsburgh never trailed en route to a 62-48 victory over visiting Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday night.

Graham Diaz made 5 of 8 shots and also had eight rebounds for the Panthers (9-3), who won despite shooting just 36.4 percent from the field (24 of 66) and 10 percent from 3-point range (2 of 20).

Pitt’s Carlton Carrington and Zack Austin each added 12 points. Austin brought down six rebounds, while Blake Hinson snatched a game-high 10.

The Panthers entered their final regular-season nonconference game allowing the second-fewest points per game (64.8) in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They held the Mastodons (11-2) down early, keeping them scoreless over the first 6:29 of the contest.

Purdue Fort Wayne missed its first six shots, finally scoring when Rasheed Bello made a layup with 13:30 left in the first half. However, prior to that, the Panthers could only manage an eight-point cushion in what would wind up being another lackluster first half offensively.

Despite opportunities given by a 30-14 rebounding advantage, Pitt went 12-for-36 (33.3 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Both sides went 1-for-13 (7.7 percent) from beyond the arc before the break. Austin broke Pitt’s 3-point dry spell with a corner make with 1:02 remaining before halftime.

That basket provided a 31-17 lead at intermission for Pitt, which had led by 15 with 6:16 left in the first half following an 8-0 spurt. The advantage then ballooned in the second half, as the Panthers led by as much as 24 thanks to an Austin dunk with 5:12 to go.

The Mastodons averaged 86.8 points per game entering Wednesday, good for 14th most in the nation. They never trailed by less than 13 for the entirety of the second half.

Bello paced Purdue Fort Wayne with 11 points and four assists. Jalen Jackson chipped in with 10 points, while Anthony Roberts supplied nine points and eight boards.

Jeff Capel improved to 84-84 as Pitt’s coach with the win.

–Field Level Media

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