The biggest part of tonight was the physical play of all the Panthers- they didn’t play dirty, but they really manned up against Georgetown and limited the backdoor cuts, forcing the Hoyas to take tougher shots and really forced them off-balance for much of the game. There was a short sequence in the 2nd half when the Hoyas looked like they might be back on their game, but the Panthers quickly adjusted and forced the tempo back to the way they wanted it.
Players of the game tonight were the guards for Pitt- Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin, who both put in 18 points in addition to playing great defense and really inspiring this team. Ronny, on his birthday, hit a key three early in the 2nd half before Keith followed that up with a trey of his own, putting the Panthers up by 8 early on and setting the tone for a dominant second half. Also very impressive were Keith’s layup and drawing the foul with about 8 minutes remaining, as well as his game-sealing jumper with just under a minute left.
Two weeks ago, most people were putting this game under the “we’re screwed” category- how could a Pitt team that lost two of it’s best players, part of it’s heart and soul, possibly compete with a top five team? Tonight, we’ve got our answer- by settling down to basics, playing your heart out in front of the best home court in the country (the Zoo tonight was 10 times louder than any point this year), and showing the rest of the conference that Pitt is still a huge force to be reckoned with.