Archive

ShareThis Page
No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57 | TribLIVE.com
Pitt

No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:24 a.m.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG098a9
Pitt forward Sheldon Jeter (21) reacts after scoring a basket and drawing a foul as San Diego State guard Aqeel Quinn (10) looks on in the first half of a game at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG0674f
Pitt forward Michael Young (2) dunks as San Diego State forward Angelo Chol (3) looks on in the first half of a game at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG01679
Pitt forward Derrick Randall (left) passes ball while being defended by San Diego State's J.J. O'Brien (center) and Skylar Spencer during the first half of their game Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at the Maui Invitational.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG0a5bc
Pittsburgh forward Michael Young (2) dunks the basketball while playing against San Diego State in the second half of a game at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG01639
San Diego State forward J.J. O'Brien drives down the key while being defended by Pitt forward Sheldon Jeter in the second half Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG05cac
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon looks over to a game official on a call against his team in the first half against San Diego State on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG0f3a1
San Diego State guard Trey Kell looks for a teammate while playing against Pitt on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
PittsburghSanDiegoStBasketballJPEG0cc95
San Diego State coach Steve Fisher calls a play while his team plays Pitt in the second half Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.

LAHAINA, Hawaii — No. 15 San Diego State, the team that allegedly couldn’t shoot straight, shot Pitt right out of Tuesday night’s Maui Invitational.

The Panthers, meanwhile, regarded annually for their defensive prowess, were toasted by an opponent that entered the game shooting only 39.5 percent from the field.

The result was a 74-57 Pitt loss at Lahaina Civic Center. The Panthers (3-2) will play Kansas State (3-2) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the tournament’s third-place game.

San Diego State meets No. 2 Arizona in a battle of 5-0 teams for the championship at 10 p.m.

It isn’t often Pitt is physically manhandled, but that was the case Tuesday — at least in the first half, when San Diego State shot 62.5 percent and led 39-25 at halftime.

The Aztecs finished the game shooting 58.7 percent and blocked 10 shots.

“They just wanted it more as a team,” Pitt sophomore forward Michael Young said.

San Diego State was too big, too fast and too strong, but the Panthers already knew that.

What caught everyone by surprise was the Aztecs’ offensive wizardry against a team coached by Jamie Dixon, who won’t hesitate to sit one of his players for poor defense — no matter how good they are offensively.

Dixon went to his bench often in the first half, searching for a combination to slow San Diego State’s runaway train. He found no answers.

“They’re good, and we’re not defensively where we need to be,” Dixon said. “We just didn’t handle well what they did, and that’s my fault. They’re a good team, and it showed.”

San Diego State’s Trey Kell scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half.

“Some of their bigs were hedging a little soft so we were able to take advantage of that and take it to the rim,” Kell, who went 7 of 9 from the floor.

Young, who recorded his first career double-double in Monday’s victory over Chaminade, opened with two baskets in the first five minutes but was held scoreless the remainder of the half. San Diego State neutralized him with an array of big, athletic defenders.

Young had eight points and seven rebounds. Senior Derrick Randall, who scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds against Chaminade, recorded two points and one rebound a day later.

“We made it difficult for them to get easy shots,” San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said.

Without Young’s steadying offensive presence — and with Pitt’s defense unable to come up with consistent stops — it was only a matter of time before San Diego State put the game out of reach.

Pitt had one last opportunity to rally early in the second half when freshman Ryan Luther’s 3-pointer reduced the deficit to 45-32. But once again, the Panthers’ defense betrayed them as San Diego State continued to score at will.

Pitt trailed 60-39 with a little more than seven minutes remaining, and that was that for the Panthers’ comeback.

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jharris@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.