COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The 20th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers relied on their inside game and the prowess of guard Lamar Patterson to squeeze out an 83-79 victory over Maryland Saturday at Comcast Center.
Patterson scored 28 points, and the Panthers used a 37-28 rebounding advantage and 32 free throws to earn the victory.
"We withstood a hard-playing, aggressive, physical, tough team who’s very good and hard to guard," said Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon. "I think they’re a team that’s going to continue to get better with [Seth] Allen."
Pittsburgh (18-2, 6-1) never trailed in the second half against the Terrapins. Although this game was significantly closer than the first one, Maryland (11-9, 3-4) simply couldn't contain Patterson, a 6-foot-5 senior who fell just short of matching his career high of 30 points.
Patterson went 8 for 14 from floor and made 12 of 14 free throws. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists.
Talib Zanna scored 16 for the Panthers and James Robinson had 13. Pittsburgh made only one of a season low-tying seven shots from beyond the arc.
Turgeon gave much of the credit to Pittsburgh.
"I've been doing this a long time. I've been an assistant coach and a head coach for about 26 years, and I'm telling you, that's one of the best teams I've ever coached against," Turgeon said. "How they're ranked 20th at 18-2 is an absolute joke. I think they're a Top 5 team in this country, to come into this building and really control the game."
Pittsburgh led 49-43 before Robinson made a layup and Patterson scored on a drive for a 10-point advantage.
A 3-pointer by Faust and a three-point play by Layman cut it to 62-55 with 10:17 to go, but Patterson scored the game's next three points and got an assist on a basket by Robinson to give the Panthers a 12-point lead with 8:39 remaining.
In the previous meeting between the teams, Pittsburgh built a six-point cushion at halftime. In this one, the Panthers went 16 for 17 at the free throw line and got 13 points from Patterson in taking a 42-37 lead at the break.
Maryland made its first four shots to go up 9-2, then missed seven of its next eight attempts. It was 13-8 before Patterson scored seven points in a 15-5 run that made it 23-18.
After the Terrapins moved back in front 29-28, Pittsburgh took the lead for good with a 9-0 spree in which four different players contributed layups.