Salt Lake City, UT – Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points as Wichita State defeated Pittsburgh, 73-55, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Cleanthony Early tallied 21 points off the bench for the Shockers (27-8), who lost to VCU in the second round of the tourney last season. Carl Hall added 11 points in the victory.
Wichita State, the ninth seed in the West Region, will face top-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday in the third round.
"Well, I thought our defense was a story for tonight," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "We jokingly talked about the first team to 55 would win the game and the way our guys defended and rebounded against a team that defends and rebounds extraordinarily well over Jamie's (Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon) entire tenure I thought was the story."
Steven Adams scored 13 points and grabbed 11 boards for the Panthers (24-9), who did not make the NCAA Tournament last year after reaching it every season from 2002-11.
Tied 21-21 with 2:05 remaining in the first half, Chadrack Lufile made a layup to give Wichita State a 23-21 edge and would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the contest.
A free throw by Ron Baker and an Armstead layup ended the half with the Shockers on top, 26-21.
Wichita State pulled away in the second half, outscoring Pittsburgh 47-34, and shot 52.4 percent from the field. Armstead and Early scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, with Armstead connecting on all seven of his free throws, to help secure the victory.
"Well, first of all, congratulations to Wichita State," Dixon said. "I wish them luck in the tournament. They played great and seemed to be far more aggressive than we were. Hence, we lost the rebounding battle which we came in to win. Extremely disappointed in the loss. I know we're a better team than what we played today."
Adams had nine points and seven rebounds in the second half ... Wichita State shot 2-for-20 from beyond the arc and Pittsburgh made just 1-of-17 ... The Shockers connected on 24 of the team's 33 made free throws in the second half.