Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

The Linked Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nelly Cummings scored 13 points and No. 11 seed Pittsburgh held sixth-seeded Iowa State to 23% shooting in a 59-41 victory in the very first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Jamarius Burton added 11 points and Greg Elliott had ten for coach Jeff Capel’s Panthers, who stormed to a 22-two lead immediately after Iowa State missed its very first 11 shots. Factors didn’t get substantially far better for the Cyclones, who had 3 stretches in which they missed at least eight consecutive shots.

Pitt (24-11), which edged Mississippi State in the Initially 4, moves on to Sunday’s second-round Midwest Area game against third-seeded Xavier, which had to rally from 13 points down to beat No. 14 seed Kennesaw State.

“What an unbelievable defensive efficiency,” Capel mentioned. “We had been a seriously excellent defensive group for the majority of the year except for the final month of the season — and we’ve seriously dialed back in these previous two games and played at an elite level.”

Gabe Kalscheur and Jaren Holmes every single had 12 points for Iowa State (19-14), which reached the Sweet 16 final year in coach T.J. Otzelberger’s very first season.

The Cyclones, who had lost nine of their preceding 13 games, didn’t make a field aim till Holmes’ brief jumper with 9:53 left in the very first half, which drew a sarcastic cheer from Iowa State fans.

Iowa State’s poor start out came when shooting at the similar basket that officials worked to repair just before the game, causing a short delay.

“Iowa State asked us throughout pregame warmups to verify if the rim was level,” the NCAA mentioned in a statement. “Building personnel checked it and produced a minor adjustment prior to the game starting. We supplied them extra warmup time but they declined.”

Otzelberger mentioned he wasn’t confident if the problem with the basket could have gotten into his players’ heads and contributed to their poor shooting, saying, “you’d have to ask the players.”

Kalscheur mentioned it wasn’t, adding that players are educated to manage adversity.

The Cyclones clawed inside 30-23 at the break but began the second half substantially like they did the very first — creating two of their very first 19 shots.

When Pitt’s Nike Sibande was fouled on a three-pointer from the left corner with below 5 minutes left and produced the ensuing absolutely free throw to place the Panthers up by 20, it was all but more than.

The Cyclones went practically eight minutes with no a field aim in the second half just before Tamin Lipsey produced a three-pointer from the corner with two:13 left to reduce the lead to 19.

1 the largest highlights for Pitt came late in the second half when wiry 7-foot center Jorge Diaz Graham lofted a ideal pass to his identical twin brother Guillermo for a dunk, causing the Panthers’ bench to erupt in celebration.

The brothers do not see lots of minutes on the floor collectively considering that they’re freshmen and play the similar position.

“It was a blast of power,” Guillermo Diaz Graham mentioned. “That ball coming from my brother specially … it was incredible.”

Added Jorge Diaz Graham: “The funny point is yesterday in practice he dunked on me and (teammate) Nate (Hinson) and he was speaking trash. So I told him, ‘OK, you want to speak now, but just do it in a game.’ And so he did, and now I have to shut up and say thank you for creating my help.”

Pitt also got an emotional increase from center Federiko Federiko, who received a substantial ovation from the Panthers faithful when he checked into the game in the very first half. Federiko sat out with a knee injury against Mississippi State and the Panthers had been outrebounded by 21.

“We’ve had a thing to prove considering that the preseason ranked us 14th our conference,” Cummings mentioned. “We’ve had a chip on our shoulder the very first time we noticed that. Dayton (the Initially 4 internet site) was just a different instance of us obtaining to place a chip on our shoulder once more. We’re absolutely searching forward to proving much more.”

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Pitt: The Panthers knocked down eight 3s against a single of the far better defenses in the nation when they beat Mississippi State for their very first NCAA Tournament win considering that 2014. They stayed hot against Iowa State, creating their very first 3 shots from beyond the arc.

Iowa State: In spite of playing in the competitive Huge 12, the Cyclones weren’t pretty prepared for the major stage, enduing a single of the poorest shooting performances in current memory.

“We’re a group that is fueled by our defense and felt like early we didn’t dictate and disrupt pretty as properly as we required to to get our organic rhythm going,” Otzelberger mentioned.


G.Diaz Graham three-five two-two 9, Burton 1-7 9-ten 11, Cummings five-11 1-1 13, Elliott 1-five eight-9 ten, Hinson 1-eight two-two five, Sibande two-three two-three eight, Federiko – 1-two 1, J.Diaz Graham 1-two – two, Santos – – . Totals 14-41 25-29 59.

IOWA ST. (19-14)

Jones -five -three , T.King two-five 7-9 11, Holmes six-17 – 12, Kalscheur four-14 three-five 12, Lipsey two-9 – five, Kunc -six – , Ward – – , Watson -1 – , Osunniyi -three 1-two 1. Totals 14-60 11-19 41.

Halftime_Pittsburgh 30-23. three-Point Ambitions_Pittsburgh six-19 (Sibande two-three, Cummings two-five, G.Diaz Graham 1-three, Hinson 1-7, Elliott -1), Iowa St. two-21 (Lipsey 1-two, Kalscheur 1-eight, T.King -1, Kunc -four, Holmes -six). Rebounds_Pittsburgh 36 (G.Diaz Graham, Elliott eight), Iowa St. 33 (Lipsey ten). Assists_Pittsburgh ten (Burton, Cummings three), Iowa St. 7 (Holmes four). Total Fouls_Pittsburgh 19, Iowa St. 22. A_16,150 (23,500).

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By Editor