Pitt’s season opening game against St. Francis 10 days was a disaster, as the Panthers not only lost, but were soundly beaten by the Red Flash, who were picked to finish sixth in the Northeast Conference.
The Panthers’ second game against Drexel was a little bit better, with Pitt winning relatively comfortably. But the Panthers were never really able to dominate the game the way an ACC team should against a low-major opponent.
Saturday against Northern Illinois, things got a lot better. Pitt got better 3-point shooting, passed the ball more effectively, turned offense to defense and cleaned up on the glass in a 30-point trashing of the Huskies at the Petersen Events Center.
“Everything was better,” head coach Jeff Capel said after the game. “Our team is starting to become more comfortable. We’re starting to figure things out. … Today was a good day. We’ve got to get back on the horse and keep working.”
Hear more from Capel, Justin Champagnie, who recorded Pitt’s first double-double of the season, and Ithiel Horton, who broke out to shoot 5 of 10 from 3-point range and scored 15 points.