Pittsburgh beats Maryland in Coaches

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

No. 5 Pittsburgh continued their dominating start to the college basketball season by taking down Maryland 79-70 in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Talib Zanna scored a double-double for Pittsburgh with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Panthers to the win.

Zanna was only averaging 8.3 points and 8.0 rebounds coming into the college basketball game while Pittsburgh’s veteran backcourt of Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker led the team through the first three games.

Gibbs, a junior, finished with 13 points on 3-for-8 shooting, while Wanamaker, a senior, had 10 points in 25 minutes while limited by foul trouble.
"He played well this summer and continues to improve. He works very hard," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said of Zanna. "He's a guy that wasn't ranked high, and you know what that means, but he's good, and again, we recruit guys where they're going to be, not where they're at, and if you have a desire to get better and want to get better and you're willing to pay the price, that's what you get. He's getting better."
Pittsburgh (4-0) went into halftime leading 31-27 and then began the second half with an 11-2 run with Zanna scoring six points, giving the Panthers a 42-29 lead.
"He plays with energy, that's his job, to give his team a great offensive rebounder and do all the dirty work that most guys don't want to do," Maryland head coach Gary Williams said.

Maryland (3-1) came back with a 14-2 run, closing the gap to one-point and tied it later, 46-46, with 12:47 left. Pittsburgh regained the lead right after that and held on for the rest of the game.
Cliff Tucker led Maryland with 17 points but the Terrapins struggled with free throws, only hitting 14 of 30. Jordan Williams scored 14 points with eight rebounds for Maryland but Pittsburgh won the game in the paint, outrebounding Maryland, 49-28.
"It was a great opportunity for us to come out and play," said Pittsburgh guard Travon Woodall. "This is the Mecca, Madison Square Garden, and it was a great chance to play a great team.”
Pittsburgh plays the winner of the Illinois vs. Texas game on Friday night in the finals of the tournament.