Pitt crushes DePaul 93-55 to win 4th straight


Pitt crushes DePaul 93-55 to win 4th straight

PITTSBURGH (AP) Trey Zeigler scored a season-high 18 points and Pittsburgh crushed DePaul 93-55 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory.

Lamar Patterson added 15 points, Steven Adams added nine points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who climbed into a tie for third in the muddled Big East after dominating the reeling Blue Demons.

The 38-point margin of victory was the highest ever by Pitt in a Big East game, eclipsing a 36-point romp over West Virginia in 2003.

Brandon Young led DePaul (10-9, 1-5) with 13 points and Moses Morgan chipped in 11, but the Blue Demons were never in it while losing for the sixth time in seven games. DePaul shot just 27 percent (18 of 65) and was outrebounded 58-34 while suffering its worst loss in nearly two years.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was concerned about how his team would handle DePaul's full-court pressure and early on the Blue Demons were able to rattle the Panthers into uncharacteristic mistakes. Pitt came in leading the country in assist/turnover ratio but threw it away six times in the first 10 minutes.

That allowed DePaul to hang around, but only for a bit. Once the Panthers settled down, they were able to get wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Woodall and Patterson led a 23-5 push midway through the first half to take control.

The Blue Demons simply couldn't keep up. If they weren't missing shots - DePaul went just 9 of 33 (27 percent) from the floor in the first half - then they were giving the ball away in transition or getting dominated on the glass.

Pitt's size and ability to stay under control once it got comfortable playing at the up-tempo pace the Blue Demons prefer eventually made DePaul's defense ineffective.

The result was a 53-30 halftime lead, the Panthers' highest scoring half of the season. The 23-point edge tied for the second-largest halftime advantage ever by the Panthers against a Big East rival, a record that would have been broken if Morgan hadn't hit a high arcing 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of the 7-foot Adams at the horn.

While Pitt has struggled at times putting two solid halves together this season, there were no such issues against the overmatched Blue Demons. Pitt scored three quick buckets to open the second half, allowing the Panthers to look ahead to the most pivotal week of the season.

Pitt plays at No. 5 Louisville on Monday and hosts No. 3 Syracuse next Saturday.

The mismatch allowed Dixon to experiment with his lineup in the second half. Pitt's bench actually outscored its starters 52-41, with Zeigler leading the way. The junior transfer from Central Michigan is starting to settle into his new role coming off the bench. He knocked down 7 of 12 shots and added five rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

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