ORLANDO, Fla. — Talib Zanna scored 18 points and Cameron Wright added 11 as Pittsburgh coasted to a 77-48 victory over Colorado in the NCAA Tournament second round.
The ninth-seeded Panthers (26-9) got 11 points from Cameron Wright and 10 from Lamar Patterson to advance to Saturday’s third round against the winner of the Florida-Albany State game.
James Robinson added eight assists and six rebounds for the Panthers, who led, 46-18, at halftime and never allowed the lead to get under 28 the second half.
Josh Scott led No. 8-seed Colorado (23-12) with 14 points and six rebounds, while Xavier Johnson had 11 points.
The Buffs couldn’t recover from a disastrous start, as they were down, 13-0, in the first five minutes of the game and never made a serious run.
Pittsburgh handed Colorado its largest halftime deficit this season, shooting 62.1 percent and smothering the Buffs from the outset.
The Panthers weren’t as efficient in the second half, but didn’t have to be.
Pitt traded baskets with the Buffs much of the time, playing a softer version of the trapping defense that had tied Colorado into knots the first half.
Still, Colorado never got anything going and the end of the bench reserves played out the final minute for both teams.
Zanna had 16 points and Wright 10 as Pittsburgh overwhelmed Colorado at both ends of the floor in running its 46-18 halftime lead.
Pitt scored the first 13 points of the game, while Colorado’s first eight possessions ended in four missed shots and four turnovers. That was a harbinger of things to come for both sides.
Pitt led by as many as 28 points in the half, and had runs of 13-0, 8-0, 7-0 and 6-0.
The Panthers shot 62.1 percent for the half and had 13 assists to go with one turnover, while outscoring the Buffs, 12-0, in fast-break points.
Colorado, on the other hand, had 10 turnovers, zero assists to go with its 29.4 percent shooting. The Buffs didn’t score on consecutive possessions the first half.
The 18 points scored by Colorado in the first half were its fewest in a half this season. The previous low was 19 in a 63-43 loss to Arizona.
NOTES: Colorado’s No. 8 seed is its highest in 13 NCAA appearances. … Pitt is in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in the last 13 years. Only seven other NCAA schools can match that run. … This was the first meeting ever between Pitt and Colorado.
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