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Pitt secures double-bye in Big East tourney with victory

March 10, 2013
The Associated Press

ROSEMONT, Ill. - J.J. Moore's teammates had a good feeling as they watched him warm up before Pittsburgh's regular-season finale at DePaul.

Moore entered the game shooting only 29.7 percent on 3-point attempts this season, but the 6-foot-6 junior forward capitalized on his opportunities Saturday.

Moore hit a career-best five 3s and scored 21 points off the bench as the 20th-ranked Panthers shot a school-record 72 percent to beat DePaul, 81-66, in their last Big East regular-season game.

"He's been playing good defense for us all along," Pittsburgh coach Jaime Dixon said. "If he makes shots, he makes us a really good team."

Pitt's shooting performance was the best ever by a Big East team in conference play.

The next stop for surging Pittsburgh is its final Big East tournament, which begins Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Panthers (24-7, 12-6), who will move into the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, are the No. 4 seed and receive a double-bye into Thursday's quarterfinals.

Senior guard Tray Woodall added 18 points for Pitt, which has won 11 of its last 14 games and six of eight on the road.

While Moore knocked down perimeter shots, many of his teammates got to the rim at will against DePaul (11-20, 2-16). Twenty-two of Pittsburgh's 46 first-half points came on dunks or layups.

A pumped-up Moore was too exuberant after one of his second-half 3s and received a technical foul.

"[The ref] said I did a little too much," Moore said. "I'll just try to keep it down a little more. Try for more composure and keep my head. But it was a good game, it was a tough game.

"My teammates looked for me today. I'm just thankful to have good teammates."

PITTSBURGH (24-7): Robinson 0-1 2-2 2, Woodall 8-11 0-0 18, Adams 4-6 0-0 8, Patterson 3-5 1-2 8, Zanna 2-4 1-2 5, Wright 3-3 1-2 7, Johnson 2-3 1-1 6, Taylor 3-3 0-0 6, Zeigler 0-2 0-0 0, Moore 8-8 0-0 21. Totals 33-46 6-9 81.

DEPAUL (11-20): Clahar 7-11 4-6 19, Young 6-16 8-8 22, Kirk 0-1 0-0 0, McKinney 1-3 0-0 3, Pirri 0-0 0-0 0, McGhee 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson Jr. 0-0 0-0 0, Melvin 4-10 3-4 12, Morgan 0-1 0-0 0, Crockett 2-3 4-4 10, McDonald 0-0 0-0 0, Clemons 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-45 19-22 66.

Halftime-Pittsburgh 46-35. 3-Point Goals-Pittsburgh 9-14 (Moore 5-5, Woodall 2-4, Johnson 1-2, Patterson 1-3), DePaul 7-17 (Crockett 2-3, Young 2-6, Melvin 1-2, McKinney 1-2, Clahar 1-3, Morgan 0-1). Fouled Out-Clahar. Rebounds-Pittsburgh 27 (Woodall 7), DePaul 15 (Clahar, Kirk, Melvin, Young 2). Assists-Pittsburgh 21 (Patterson, Robinson, Woodall 4), DePaul 9 (Young 3). Total Fouls-Pittsburgh 18, DePaul 14. Technical-Moore. A-8,454.

 
 

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