Pittsburgh used its defense to create offense in a 79-53 home win over Binghamton in a nonconference game on Friday night.
The Panthers (9-3) went on runs of 16-2, 14-0 and 16-0 with each streak paced by turnovers. They converted 27 Binghamton giveaways into 32 points, enabling them to shake off a slow start to pick up their fourth consecutive victory at the Petersen Events Center.
Binghamton (5-7) played like a team that began the season as the eighth-youngest team in Division I, according to KenPom.com, committing 15 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes to trail 41-21 at halftime.
The Bearcats also missed 16 of their first 23 shots but heated up late in the first half, and they later trailed only 49-35 with 14:04 left after a 3-pointer by freshman guard Hakon Hjalmarsson.
But then Pitt scored the next 16 points, aided by five Bearcat turnovers, to extend to a 65-35 edge with 10:09 left on a trey by junior guard Ryan Murphy.
Murphy finished with 11 points, all in the second half, making 3 of 7 3-point attempts. The Panthers also got double-figure scoring from freshman guard Justin Champagnie (14), sophomore guard Trey McGowens (13) and sophomore guard Au’Diese Toney (10). Champagnie added 10 rebounds.
Pitt went the first 4:29 to start the game without scoring, missing its first six shots, but once the first one hit, the Panthers caught fire. McGowens scored Pitt’s first eight points, and his 3-pointer ignited a 16-2 run that produced a 21-11 lead with 7:57 left in the half.
A 14-0 run upped Pitt’s edge to 37-15 with 2:13 left, a span in which the Bearcats turned it over five times.
Pitt managed to defend well without fouling, sending Binghamton to the foul line only five times all night after limiting Northern Illinois to two free-throw attempts in a 59-50 win on Monday.
Binghamton, which dropped to 1-8 all-time against current Atlantic Coast Conference teams, got 23 points from Sam Sessoms. The sophomore guard was 9 of 19 from the field while the rest of the Bearcats were 13 of 37.
—Field Level Media