WASHINGTON (AP) – Ashton Gibbs scored 20 of his 26 points after halftime, and bigger, stronger, more physical Pittsburgh kept the No. 1s perfect against the No. 16s in the NCAA tournament by beating North Carolina-Asheville 74-51 on Thursday.
The Panthers showed the scrappy Big South champions what Big East play is all about, out-rebounding the Bulldogs 50-27 to make up for so-so shooting by nearly everyone but Gibbs.
Pitt led by only three early in the second half before putting the game away with a 13-5 run.
The Panthers (28-5) advanced to play No. 8 seed Butler in the next round. Butler defeated Old Dominion in the day’s opening game at the Verizon Center.
Matt Dickey scored 21 points to lead UNC Asheville (20-14), which finished off a whirlwind week that included a win over Arkansas-Little Rock in one of the Dayton play-in games on Tuesday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)