Washington , DC–
Coming into today’s match-up against the Pitt Panthers the Hoyas had 28 consecutive home victories behind them and a huge victory over then second ranked Connecticut Huskies to propel them against the strongest team in the Big East, well it worked for one half… the second half…. not so much as the Panthers ran away with the game taking a convincing 70-54 victory from the Hoyas.
Pitt who has been led by their big man DeJuan blair in their 14-0 run again today Blair made the Hoyas pay in a big way to the tune of 20 points and 17 rebounds. Blair who has become a catalyst of the Panthers team seemed to continue to have the Hoyas number when it comes to controlling the paint.
“I played with something on my back saying, ‘They’re picking this young cat against me, and I’m not going to take it,'” Blair said. “I was always an underdog throughout my whole life. I think I showed a lot of people.”
DaJuan Summers finished with 22 points for the Hoyas, and he did all he could to keep the Hoyas close until a 17-4 Pittsburgh run midway through the second half.
So what the problem for the Hoyas? Well their offense just never appeared in the second half, could it have been they were too worried about two big games in a row? Notre Dame on Monday and 43 home victories in a row for the Fighting Irish? Whatever the problem was today, Coach John Thompson is not really looking into it too deeply.
“We have no turnaround,” Thompson said. “We leave tomorrow morning for South Bend. You can’t dwell on that too long. We’re a very good team, but we just had a very difficult stretch from that 14-minute mark where they did a good job of executing and we didn’t.”