Published January 13, 2015
J.J. Moore scored 21 points on a perfect 8- of-8 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range, as No. 20 Pittsburgh eased past DePaul, 81-66, Saturday at Allstate Arena.
Tray Woodall netted 18 points on an 8-of-11 shooting effort to go along with seven rebounds for the Panthers (24-7, 12-6 Big East), who shot 71.7 percent (33-of-46) from the field -- good for a new school record -- and won their fourth straight.
"He's been playing good defense for us all along," Pittsburgh coach Jaime Dixon said of Moore. "If he makes shots, he makes us a really good team. He's hard to guard."
It was Pittsburgh's final regular-season game as a member of the Big East. The Panthers, along with Syracuse, will move into the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. The Panthers earned a two-day bye in the upcoming conference tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Brandon Young scored 22 points and Worrel Clahar had 19 for the Blue Demons (11-20, 2-16), who have lost six straight and will play Rutgers in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Tuesday in New York.
Pittsburgh held a double-digit lead for most of the second half and added to the advantage around the midway point with Moore's layup and Durand Johnson's three-point play to make it 65-50.
The Panthers then eased their way to victory as DePaul never got closer than nine points over the remainder of the contest.
Two Jamee Crockett free throws with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half brought the Blue Demons within 30-27. Pitt, however, then scored seven unanswered before heading into halftime on a 16-8 flurry for a 46-35 lead.
The Panthers shot a lights out 19-of-25 from the floor -- including 5-of-6 from behind the arc -- in the first half.
The visitors scored the game's first nine points, though DePaul chipped back with an 11-2 swing to tie things up just five minutes in.
"I was disappointed we were not able to get a win for our seniors, Worrel Clahar and Stuart Pirri, on Senior Day," DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. "Defensively as a team, we were not very good. Pittsburgh does have outstanding shooters, but we didn't do enough to make them cool off."
Pittsburgh won the season's first matchup, 93-55 on Jan. 26 ... Pittsburgh won the rebounding battle, 27-15, and outscored DePaul, 38-22, inside the paint ... The Panthers have won 11 of their last 14 games ... DePaul is just 2-9 in the all-time series ... Young became the first player in DePaul history to register 1,200 points, 400 assists and 100 3-pointers.