Wilson-Frame has been the Panthers’ best bench scorer and second-leading scorer overall this season, so his 11 total points were not particularly unexpected.
But the season-high 11 rebounds, three assists compared to zero turnovers and overall presence on the floor was exactly what Pitt head coach Jeff Capel needed from his highest-senior for the Panthers to stop a two-game slide.
“Jared is a really good shooter when he has his feet set, but it was his rebounding, his assists, his playmaking, but more than anything his voice,” Capel said. “He had an energy out there. I thought he made the right play, the correct play the majority of the time.”
In total, Pitt outscored the Hawks, 41-1 off the bench. Forward Terrell Brown also broke into double figures with 10 points off the bench.
The under-manned Hawks only dressed nine players for the game and that number was whittled when reserve guard Gabriel Gyamfi fouled out early in the second half.
Point guard Xavier Johnson led the Panthers with 12 points. He’s crossed double figures in each of his first 11 games as a true freshman,
“My confidence is high almost every game,” Johnson said “The whole team just such cheers me up when I’m down. They try to keep me up and help me play the same way.”
Not only did UMES not have the number of bodies, they were out-classed in size, as well, with just two 6-foot-7 forwards in A.J. Cheesman and Tyler Jones and no one taller. The Panthers handily won the battle on the boards, 51-29 and outscored the Hawks in the paint, 36-24.
Jones led UMES with 16 points before he fouled out late. Cheesman also finished with 16 points.
UMES: Guard Robert Andino became the 10th player in the school’s history to cross the 1,000-point plateau. He entered the game with 996 points and scored six more despite shooting 2 of 10. The fifth-year senior took a medical redshirt in 2017-18, but has returned to form, averaging a career-high 13 points per game coming into Saturday.
Pitt: Playing its first game without backup center Peace Ilegomah, who announced his intention to transfer during the Panthers’ off week, sophomore forward Shamiel Stevenson received his most playing time in over a month. Stevenson had six points and two rebounds in 11 minutes and committed two turnovers.
The Hawks started the game with a 5-0 lead, but the Panthers flipped it quickly, going on a 26-3 run that erased any doubt about the end result.
“We came out and had a good little showing for five minutes,” UMES interim head coach Cliff Reed said. “You’ve got to make shots. That was the key. When they made their run, they could continue their run. We couldn’t stymie the run.”
The Panthers shot 43 percent from the floor while the Hawks made 31 percent and only 17 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range.
UMES: Continues its season-long, six-game road trip by traveling to Winthrop on Dec. 20. The Hawks have not won a road non-conference game since Dec. 21, 2016.
Pitt: Remains home to host New Orleans on Dec. 20 in the Panthers’ next-to-last non-conference game of the season.