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Defense keys Pitt’s victory | News, Sports, Jobs


Mar 18, 2023

The Linked Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nelly Cummings scored 13 points and No. 11 seed Pittsburgh held sixth-seeded Iowa State to 23% shooting in a 59-41 victory in the initial round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Jamarius Burton added 11 points and Greg Elliott had ten for coach Jeff Capel’s Panthers, who stormed to a 22-two lead straight away just after Iowa State missed its initial 11 shots. Problems didn’t get drastically higher for the Cyclones, who had three stretches in which they missed at least eight consecutive shots.

Pitt (24-11), which edged Mississippi State in the Initially four, moves on to Sunday’s second-round Midwest Location game against third-seeded Xavier, which had to rally from 13 points down to beat No. 14 seed Kennesaw State.

“What an unbelievable defensive all round functionality,” Capel stated. “We had been a essentially good defensive group for the majority of the year except for the final month of the season — and we’ve essentially dialed back in these earlier two games and played at an elite level.”

Gabe Kalscheur and Jaren Holmes each and every had 12 points for Iowa State (19-14), which reached the Sweet 16 final year in coach T.J. Otzelberger’s initial season.

The Cyclones, who had lost nine of their prior 13 games, didn’t make a field target till Holmes’ short jumper with 9:53 left in the initial half, which drew a sarcastic cheer from Iowa State fans.

Iowa State’s poor start out off came while shooting at the identical basket that officials worked to repair ahead of the game, causing a quick delay.

“Iowa State asked us in the course of pregame warmups to confirm if the rim was level,” the NCAA stated in a statement. “Building personnel checked it and developed a minor adjustment prior to the game beginning. We supplied them added warmup time but they declined.”

Otzelberger stated he wasn’t constructive if the difficulty with the basket may perhaps effectively have gotten into his players’ heads and contributed to their poor shooting, saying, “you’d have to ask the players.”

Kalscheur stated it wasn’t, adding that players are educated to deal with adversity.

The Cyclones clawed inside 30-23 at the break but started the second half drastically like they did the initial — generating two of their initial 19 shots.

When Pitt’s Nike Sibande was fouled on a 3-pointer from the left corner with under five minutes left and developed the ensuing cost-free of charge throw to location the Panthers up by 20, it was all but extra than.

The Cyclones went virtually eight minutes devoid of possessing a field target in the second half ahead of Tamin Lipsey developed a 3-pointer from the corner with two:13 left to lower the lead to 19.

1 the biggest highlights for Pitt came late in the second half when wiry 7-foot center Jorge Diaz Graham lofted a ideal pass to his identical twin brother Guillermo for a dunk, causing the Panthers’ bench to erupt in celebration.

The brothers do not see a lot of minutes on the floor collectively due to the reality they’re freshmen and play the identical position.

“It was a blast of energy,” Guillermo Diaz Graham stated. “That ball coming from my brother especially … it was exceptional.”

Added Jorge Diaz Graham: “The funny element is yesterday in practice he dunked on me and (teammate) Nate (Hinson) and he was speaking trash. So I told him, ‘OK, you want to speak now, but just do it in a game.’ And so he did, and now I have to shut up and say thank you for generating my enable.”

Pitt also got an emotional improve from center Federiko Federiko, who received a substantial ovation from the Panthers faithful when he checked into the game in the initial half. Federiko sat out with a knee injury against Mississippi State and the Panthers had been outrebounded by 21.

“We’ve had a issue to prove due to the reality the preseason ranked us 14th our conference,” Cummings stated. “We’ve had a chip on our shoulder the initial time we observed that. Dayton (the Initially four internet-website) was just an extra instance of us getting to location a chip on our shoulder after extra. We’re surely hunting forward to proving far extra.”

Important image

Pitt: The Panthers knocked down eight 3s against a single of the higher defenses in the nation when they beat Mississippi State for their initial NCAA Tournament win due to the reality 2014. They stayed hot against Iowa State, generating their initial three shots from beyond the arc.

Iowa State: In spite of playing in the competitive Important 12, the Cyclones weren’t rather ready for the significant stage, enduing a single of the poorest shooting performances in present memory.

“We’re a group that is fueled by our defense and felt like early we didn’t dictate and disrupt rather as correctly as we needed to to get our organic rhythm going,” Otzelberger stated.


G.Diaz Graham 3-5 two-two 9, Burton 1-7 9-ten 11, Cummings 5-11 1-1 13, Elliott 1-5 eight-9 ten, Hinson 1-eight two-two 5, Sibande two-3 two-3 eight, Federiko – 1-two 1, J.Diaz Graham 1-two – two, Santos – – . Totals 14-41 25-29 59.

IOWA ST. (19-14)

Jones -5 -3 , T.King two-5 7-9 11, Holmes six-17 – 12, Kalscheur 4-14 3-5 12, Lipsey two-9 – 5, Kunc -six – , Ward – – , Watson -1 – , Osunniyi -3 1-two 1. Totals 14-60 11-19 41.

Halftime_Pittsburgh 30-23. 3-Point Ambitions_Pittsburgh six-19 (Sibande two-3, Cummings two-5, G.Diaz Graham 1-3, Hinson 1-7, Elliott -1), Iowa St. two-21 (Lipsey 1-two, Kalscheur 1-eight, T.King -1, Kunc -4, Holmes -six). Rebounds_Pittsburgh 36 (G.Diaz Graham, Elliott eight), Iowa St. 33 (Lipsey ten). Assists_Pittsburgh ten (Burton, Cummings 3), Iowa St. 7 (Holmes 4). Total Fouls_Pittsburgh 19, Iowa St. 22. A_16,150 (23,500).

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