Posted November 25, 2011 on AP on Fox
Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and No. 17 Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night. The Panthers (4-1) got the 20-point victory over inferior competition they badly needed after struggling the last three games. Pitt was upset at home by Long Beach State last week. Rider and La Salle gave the Panthers fits in two other games. Led by Tyler Bernardini and Zack Rosen, the Quakers (3-3) put a serious scare into Pitt for about 30 minutes. The pair hit consecutive 3s and Penn hung tight before the Panthers stretched the lead in front of a pro-Pitt crowd. The game was played at the Palestra, Penn's home court, but it was not much of a home game. ''Let's Go Pitt!'' echoed throughout the old gym. Rosen led the Quakers with 22 points on 6 of 10 3-pointers. Bernardini had 14. The Panthers played without starting center Dante Taylor and starting small forward Lamar Patterson. Taylor is suffering from migraines and Patterson started a two-game suspension. A Pittsburgh spokesman did not say why Patterson was suspended. Pitt also lost forward Talib Zanna in the second half with an apparent knee injury. He slipped and was down on the court before he hobbled to a seat on the bench. He rubbed his right knee for several minutes. Birch got the start at center, J.J. Moore took over at small forward and both freshmen made a bunch of fantastic plays that showed they can be counted on as serious contributors in the rotation. Birch, 6-foot-9, 220 pounds, has a blond streak dyed in his hair and boasts a game just as flashy. In the first half, he had a thunderous dunk, then a block on the next possession that led to a Pitt layup for a 28-18 lead. The Quakers, out of the Ivy League, kept firing 3s and stayed close when they connected. When Bernardini sank one that sliced the deficit to seven, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon punched his fist in the air. Dixon wasn't happy again after Rosen and Bernardini hit two straight 3-pointers that made it a nine-point game. Rosen buried one to make it 51-43. That ended the fun for the Quakers. The Panthers, who torched the Quakers inside for 13 layups in the first half, went outside to build their lead. Gibbs, who had three points at the break, hit a baseline 3 and Moore followed with one of his own to make it 59-47. Nazir Robinson, of nearby Chester, Pa., punctuated the win with a fastbreak dunk that brought the Pitt fans to their feet. Some Pitt fans, who surely love their Steelers, chanted E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles! for Philadelphia running back and former Pitt star LeSean McCoy. Robinson scored 14 points and Moore had 12.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Birch's double-double helps Pitt fight past Penn

Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night.

M. Basketball. Khem Birch's Double-Double Helps No. 16 Pitt Fight Past Penn

Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and No. 17 Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night.

Struggling Pitt recovers, runs away from Penn

Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and No. 17 Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night.

Robert Morris-Pittsburgh Preview

Pittsburgh has been bringing Khem Birch along slowly, but the freshman may be blossoming quicker than the Panthers anticipated. Birch and the 17th-ranked Panthers will host Robert Morris on Sunday night, trying to improve to 30-0 all-time against the Colonials. Pitt cruised to one of its easier wins of the season Friday, beating Penn 78-58. The Panthers (4-1) were coming off a...

No. 17 Pitt pulls away from pesky Penn (AP)

Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and No. 17 Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night. The Panthers (4-1) got the 20-point victory over inferior competition they badly needed after struggling the last three games.

No. 17 Pittsburgh 81, Robert Morris 71

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday. The Panthers (5-1) won their third straight by shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half and playing with a defensive intensity they have lacked at times early in the season. The addition of rangy freshman forward Khem Birch into the...

No. 17 Pittsburgh eases by Robert Morris 81-71

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday. The Panthers (5-1) won their third straight by shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half and playing with a defensive intensity they have lacked at times early in the season. The addition of rangy freshman forward Khem Birch into the...

Freshman lifts poor-shooting Panthers

Jamie Dixon still isn't happy with No. 17 Pittsburgh's defense. Three weeks into the season, the Panthers are giving up too many open shots, too many offensive rebounds and too many points for their coach's liking. Maybe, but Dixon allows his team is starting to look, well, more like Pitt. The emergence of freshman Khem Birch has certainly helped. Birch scored eight...

Gibbs has 21, Pitt tops Robert Morris (AP)

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday. The Panthers (5-1) won their third straight by shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half and playing with a defensive intensity they have lacked at times early in the season.

No. 17 Pitt pulls away for 78-58 win over Penn

Khem Birch had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Ashton Gibbs scored 16 points and No. 17 Pittsburgh pulled away late against pesky Penn for a 78-58 win in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night.

Panthers' Gibbs scores 21 to help top Colonials

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday.

No. 17 Pittsburgh Defeats Robert Morris, 81-71

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday. The Panthers (5-1) won their third straight by shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half.

No. 17 Pittsburgh eases by Robert Morris 81-71

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as No. 17 Pittsburgh rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday.

Pitt clamps down on Robert Morris for easy win

Ashton Gibbs scored 21 points and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as Pittsburgh (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) rolled past Robert Morris 81-71 on Sunday.

Pittsburgh-Penn Preview

Seemingly the norm in recent years, Pittsburgh entered its season with high expectations and a lofty ranking. So far, it has yet to justify those honors. The 17th-ranked Panthers look to improve on their shaky outings against mid-major opponents when they play their first road game Friday night against Pennsylvania at the historic Palestra. Pittsburgh (3-1) began the season ranked...
College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.