Trey McGowens scored 24 points as host Pittsburgh dominated inside while rolling to a 99-57 victory against New Orleans on Thursday night.
Xavier Johnson added 21 and Au’Diese Toney had 20 for the Panthers (9-3), who had a 40-21 advantage in rebounding and outscored the Privateers 22-8 at the foul line. Pitt only missed one free throw.
Bryson Robinson came off the bench to score 11 and Gerrale Gates and Damion Rosser had 10 points each for New Orleans (5-5).
It was the last game before the holidays for both teams. They both conclude non-conference play on Dec. 29 as Pitt hosts Colgate and New Orleans visits Baylor.
The Panthers forced 22 turnovers, the fourth time in five games they have forced at least 20, and they beat their average of 10 steals by one with 11.
Pitt led for the final 36-plus minutes, held a 26-point advantage at halftime and led by as many as 44 points in the second half.
The score was tied twice in the very beginning before the Panthers gradually seized control.
Johnson made two free throws to give them the lead for good at 6-4.
Pitt increased the lead to seven and held that margin six different times before starting to pull away.
Toney converted a three-point play and McGowens made a layup and converted two free throws during a 7-0 run that gave the Panthers a 34-20 lead.
Gates’ layup ended the run, but Pitt kept getting to the goal for baskets as it kept increasing the lead.
Kene Chukwuka and Toney made layups, McGowens had a tip-in and consecutive layups. Then Johnson made a 3-pointer that completed a 13-0 run for a 47-22 lead.
Scott Plaisance Jr. ended that run with a layup and made another before the Panthers scored the final five points of the half to take a 52-26 halftime lead.
The Privateers never got any closer than 22 points in the second half.
—Field Level Media