PITTSBURGH – J.J. Moore netted 20 points to lead Pittsburgh in a dominant 86-51 victory over Fordham Monday night in a nonconference affair.
With the win, Pittsburgh (2-0) advances to the semifinal round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Points were divvied up among several Panthers.
Steve Adams, the Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year, had an impressive game with 13 points and five rebounds. Trey Woodall was not far behind with 12 points.
Bryan Smith led the scoring effort for Fordham (0-2) with 11 points and three rebounds and was 4 of 9 on 3-point tries. The Rams shot 40 percent (6 of 15) from beyond the arc.
But those 3-pointers could only do so much for the Rams.
The Panthers man-to-man defense slowed down the Fordham 3-pointers in the second half as Pittsburgh took control of the game with fast-paced drives down the court.
The Rams kept it close in the first fifteen minutes of the game, pulling the gap to 18-15 before the Panthers ran away with it.
In the first half, Fordham’s zone defense challenged Pittsburgh inside the paint and forced the Panthers to do a lot of outside shooting. Pittsburgh adjusted at the half and finished the game with a 42-12 advantage in points from the paint.
The Panthers’ Talib Zanna, who had a career-high 20 points last game against Mt. Saint Mary’s, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with eight points.
The Panthers also played without sophomore John Johnson and will be without him for the rest of the season. The university announced before the game that he is transferring to another school.