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Pitt cruises past Colorado

Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Talib Zanna scored 18 points to lead the Pittsburgh Panthers to a 77-48 rout of the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday in the second of the NCAA Tournament.

Cameron Wright added 11 points for the ninth-seeded Panthers (26-9), who will face top-seeded Florida next in the South Region. The Gators pulled away to beat 16th-seeded Albany 67-55 later Thursday.

Lamar Patterson ended with 10 points as Pittsburgh dominated from the opening tip. The Panthers scored the first 13 points of the game, led by 20 just over 12 minutes into the contest and scored 46 first-half points.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said he thought it was "probably" his team's best defensive first half of the season.

"We're a better team now than we were earlier in the year," Dixon said. "That's what you hope to be."

Josh Scott scored 14 points and Xavier Johnson had 11 points for eighth-seeded Colorado (23-12), which never got going offensively despite being the higher seeded team.

Behind Zanna, Pitt scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back. Zanna scored eight of his 16 first-half points during the opening surge and the rout was on.

"Defensively we were breaking down," said Scott. "They were getting layups and we weren't getting the stops, and so, yeah, it was a nightmare start."

The lead later reached 20 points when Josh Newkirk's layup with 7:44 left in the first half gave the Panthers a 28-7 lead. Then, with 1:55 remaining in the half, Zanna's two free throws extended the cushion to 28 points, 44-16.

After continuing to hold a 28-point cushion at halftime, 46-18, the lead reached 30 points for the first time when Michael Young opened the stanza's scoring with a layup 27 seconds in.

Colorado could only manage to draw within 28 points from there.

Game Notes

Pitt improved to 24-25 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... Colorado fell to 10-15 in the NCAA Tournament ... Young had nine points for the Panthers.

03/20 18:33:24 ET

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