Pitt senior Jared Wilson-Frame scored 20 points and tied a career high with five 3-pointers off the bench and freshman Xavier Johnson had a double-double when the Panthers routed the VMI Keydets 94-55 at the Petersen Events Center on Friday.
Johnson had 14 points and 10 assists and fellow freshman Au’Diese Toney had 14 points had eight rebounds for the Panthers, who gave new coach Jeff Capel his second victory in as many games.
Bubba Parham had 16 points, Tyler Creammer had 12 points and five rebounds and Greg Parham had 11 points for the Keydets, who have split their first two games. Bubba Parham was the media’s Southern Conference freshman of the year in 2017-18.
Capel has started three freshmen — Johnson, Toney and Trey McGowens — in each of the first two games for a team looking to rebound after going 0-19 in the ACC last season and finishing on a 19-game losing streak.
Pitt shot 63.5 percent from the field while limiting VMI to 33.9, and the more physical Panthers had a 38-19 rebounding edge. The Panthers had 24 assists on 33 baskets, and Wilson-Frame had four assists.
Wilson-Frame had 11 points on three 3-pointers and two free throws and freshman Xavier Johnson had seven points when the Panthers went on a 29-6 run to take control after the Keydets scored the first basket of the game.
Wilson-Frame, the Panthers’ leading scorer last season, was suspended for the first game for a violation of team rules. He hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half for a 42-24 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media