Pitt squashes McNeese State with big second half
Junior guard Jared Wilson-Frame scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half as a sluggish Pittsburgh squad struggled before registering a 72-51 victory over McNeese State in Saturday’s nonconference game at Pittsburgh.
Freshman guard Marcus Carr added 17 points for the Panthers (6-5), who won for the fifth time in the past six games. Wilson-Frame made five of Pittsburgh’s 14 3-pointers and sparked the Panthers to a 48-point second half.
Junior guard James Harvey scored 17 points for McNeese State (2-7), which shot 24.3 percent from the field while losing its fourth straight game. Junior forward Quatarrius Wilson added 11 points and 10 rebounds and junior guard Jarren Greenwood had 10 points for the Cowboys, who are winless in seven road games.
The Panthers shot 61.3 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 44.4 percent overall. Wilson-Frame connected on 6 of 7 second-half shots, including all four of his 3-point attempts.
McNeese trailed 43-37 with under 12 minutes remaining before the Panthers scored the next 13 points as part of a 22-2 surge. Freshman guard Khameron Davis drained two 3-pointers during the run and Wilson-Frame buried one to make it 65-39 with 5:43 to play.
Both teams struggled with their shooting in a first half that ended with the Panthers holding a 24-19 lead. Pitt shot 28.1 percent from the floor while McNeese made just 6 of 33 attempts for 18.2 percent.
The Cowboys held a 10-3 lead after Greenwood’s dunk with 13:50 left in the half. The Panthers rattled off the next eight points, taking the lead on Wilson-Frame’s 3-pointer with 10:44 remaining.
McNeese was within 16-14 after Wilson’s hoop with 3:04 left before Pitt closed with an 8-3 run to hold the five-point halftime edge.