PITTSBURGH — Things appeared to be bleak for Pitt (2-3) in the first half, as they trailed by as much of 12-points at one point, but an incredible second half of shooting, including a stretch where Pitt made 11-of-12 shots and 8-of-9 three-pointers, led to a comfortable victory over Alabama State (0-5).
Pitt jumped out to a 10-2 lead heading into the first media timeout, the only time they appeared to be in control during the half. During that run, Pitt saw four points from Blake Hinson who played the entirety of the first half and put up 13 points. He was the game’s leading scorer at that point, and a big reason why they were able to mount a comeback later in the half.
Pitt did have to mount a comeback. Despite being up 10-2 against Alabama State, a 0-4 SWAC team that has lost their four games by an average of 30.25 points per game and were +20.5 point underdogs against Pitt, they trailed 30-18 at one point. Alabama State went on a 28-8 run after the first media timeout. Pitt shot 2-for-15 during this run and had four turnovers in a four minute stretch during this period as well.
Pitt did cut the lead down before halftime though, thanks primarily to Hinson and John Hugley, who returned today after missing Pitt’s last game against VCU. They combined for 10 of Pitt’s last 13 points in the half during a 13-4 scoring run that cut the lead to 34-31 at halftime.
Pitt grabbed their first lead of the second half off a second-chance basket by Jorge Diaz Graham, who grabbed a rebound from a missed Nelly Cummings three-pointer and put it in the basket. Pitt took the lead at the 15:47 mark and it was their first lead since they led 13-10 with 11:30 left in the first half. Pitt had played behind since Alabama State took a 19-16 lead with 10:18 left in the first half.
That basket by Diaz Graham started a 11-0 run for Pitt that extended their lead to 46-36. This was highlighted by three consecutive three-pointers by Diaz Graham, Cummings and Greg Elliot. Alabama State was forced to call a timeout to try and stop Pitt’s momentum. This came in the middle of a 9-for-10 stretch of shooting including six three-pointers by Pitt. And when Alabama State was forced to call another timeout with 8:49 remaining in the game, Pitt led 59-38.
That stretch ended up going a little bit longer when Pitt extended their lead to 25 at 64-39. Officially they made 11-of-12 baskets with eight of those being a three-pointer, all over the course of about seven minutes of action. Alabama State was able to cut the lead back under 20, but never beyond that and Pitt pulled away with the 73-54 victory.
Pitt’s next game will be against Fairleigh Dickinson (2-3) on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. one of three non-conference games left before they start conference play at NC State (4-0) on December 2nd, at 7:00 p.m. That game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.