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Danes get throttled in debut, 89-56

Danes get throttled in debut, 89-56

Travon Woodall scored a career-high 25 points to go with 10 assists, and No. 10 Pittsburgh rolled by

Travon Woodall scored a career-high 25 points to go with 10 assists, and No. 10 Pittsburgh rolled by University at Albany, 89-56, in the season opener for both on Friday night.

Ashton Gibbs added 21 points for the Panthers, who remained unbeaten in nine season debuts under coach Jamie Dixon.

The defending Big East regular-season champions wasted little time, needing five minutes to take a double-digit lead.

Gerardo Suero led Albany with 17 points, and Logan Aronhalt added 13 points and five rebounds, but the Great Danes were never in it.

“Pitt is good, and they shot the ball tremendously well,” said UAlb­any coach Will Brown. “They play great defense and are physical.

“We knew our offense was ahead of our defense. We are not where we need to be. We must play better team defense and communicate.”

Gibbs and Woodall dominated, feeding off each other against Alb­any’s overmatched backcourt. Woodall made nine of 13 shots, including five of seven three-pointers.

Pitt played without sophomore forward J.J. Moore, suspended for one game for playing in an unsupervised summer league game.

For one game, the Panthers didn’t need him, not with Gibbs and Woodall doing their thing.

Gibbs, the preseason Big East player of the year, eagerly fed Woodall the ball when the Great Danes threw two, or sometimes three, defenders his way.

The senior guard set a career high with seven assists, though he was pretty good when he put the ball up, too. Gibbs scored 15 points in the first half on 6-for-11 shooting as the Panthers took advantage of numerous defensive breakdowns by Albany.

Gibbs hit a jumper to put Pitt up, 13-3. The Panthers were off to the races, one of the Big East’s most tenacious defensive teams showing it could get out and run, too.

Forward Nasir Robinson showed no ill effects from a knee injury that limited him during the preseason, finishing with eight points and three rebounds in 23 effective minutes.

Freshman forward Khem Birch, just the sixth McDonald’s All-America to play at Pitt, had a so-so debut, missing his one shot from the field but making two free throws to go with three rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Danes were coming off a breakthrough season, but were hit with inj­uries during preseason.

ALBANY (56)

Devlin 1-3 0-0 2, Puk 0-2 0-0 0, Aronhalt 5-11 2-2 13, Black 4-7 2-2 11, Suero 4-9 9-16 17, Iati 0-1 0-0 0, Hooley 0-2 0-0 0, Rowley 2-3 2-3 6, Metcalf 0-0 0-0 0, Watts 2-2 0-0 4, Guerrier 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 19-44 15-23 56.

PITTSBURGH (89)

Patterson 2-5 0-0 6, Robinson 4-8 0-0 8, Taylor 3-7 1-2 7, Woodall 9-13 2-2 25, Gibbs 8-17 2-2 21, Epps 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 1-1 0-0 2, J. Johnson 3-5 0-0 8, Rivers 1-2 0-0 3, Nwankwo 0-0 0-0 0, Birch 0-1 2-2 2, Zanna 2-2 1-2 5.

Totals 34-63 8-10 89.

Halftime—Pittsburgh 47-26. 3-Point Goals—Albany 3-17 (Guerrier 1-3, Black 1-3, Aronhalt 1-6, Hooley 0-1, Suero 0-1, Iati 0-1, Devlin 0-2), Pittsburgh 13-22 (Woodall 5-7, Gibbs 3-7, J. Johnson 2-2, Patterson 2-3, Rivers 1-2, Epps 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Albany 23 (Suero 6), Pittsburgh 35 (Taylor 8). Assists—Albany 7 (Black 3), Pittsburgh 24 (Woodall 10). Total Fouls—Alb­any 11, Pittsburgh 17. A—10,125.

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