On Friday afternoon, Pitt took down Oregon State 76-51 in blowout fashion behind a breakout performance from High Point transfer Zack Austin.
In Pitt’s loss to Florida two days prior, the Panthers needed a fourth scorer. The trio of Bub Carrington, Ish Leggett, and Blake Hinson could only take the team so far. In Friday’s game, the Panthers turned to Austin to become that fourth scorer, and he did just that from the tip.
Austin hit three three pointers within the first six minutes of this matchup against Oregon State, kickstarting an early Panther lead. In addition, Carrington, Leggett, Hinson, and Federiko Federiko each scored more than five points in the first half as Pitt built its lead up to double figures. Pitt held Oregon State without a field goal for more than four minutes down the stretch, and eventually took a 12-point lead into the break.
At the half, Pitt was shooting 37% from the field and 25% from three-point range.
In the second half, both teams struggled from beyond the arch out of the gates. However, Hinson hit his first triple of the game with just over 15 minutes to go to extend the Panther lead back up to 15. Minutes later, Austin flew in off a missed three from Leggett for a put-back slam dunk, keeping Pitt’s lead strong and launching a 6-0 run for the Panthers.
With just over eight minutes remaining, Austin slammed home another put-back dunk off a missed three from freshman Jaland Lowe, adding onto his best offensive game of the year. The Panthers coasted to victory throughout the remainder of the game behind late buckets from Hinson and free throws from Austin and Will Jeffress.
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Austin finished with a season-high 19 points and eight rebounds in the win, while Hinson followed with 17 points on 6-for-17 shooting. Leggett added 15 points and seven boards, while Federiko also contributed with 10 points, hitting all three of his field goals and all four of his free throws in the win.
Oregon State shot just 33% from the field and 9% from three-point range in the loss. The Panthers grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in their domination of the Beavers, tacking on 26 second-chance points in the win.
With the win, Pitt earns its first high-major win of the season and advances to 5-1 on the year.
The Panthers now have three days away from game action as their next game comes on Tuesday, against Missouri. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Tigers are 4-2 on the season, and play Sunday against Loyola (MD) before traveling out to the Steel City. Missouri’s two losses have come to Jackson State (73-72) and Memphis (70-55).