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NCAAB: Jason Roche leads The Citadel past shorthanded Pitt

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Jason Roche knocked down eight 3-pointers en route to 27 points Tuesday as The Citadel cruised past host Pitt 78-63 in the season opener for both teams.

Hayden Brown contributed 19 points and seven boards and Tyler Moffe pitched in 12 points for the Bulldogs, who outscored the Panthers 39-6 from beyond the arc in posting a comfortable road victory over their short-handed ACC foe.

John Hugley scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Femi Odukale recorded 20 points, but the other three Pitt starters combined to shoot just 3 of 23 from the floor.

The Panthers played without their top five scorers from a season ago. Of that group, Nike Sibande and Ithiel Horton were expected to carry a heavy load for this year’s squad. But Sibande suffered a torn ACL in an exhibition game last week, while Horton was arrested after allegedly assaulting a police officer over the weekend and has been suspended indefinitely by the team.

The Citadel allowed the first bucket of the game and then scored 14 straight points, ignited by Roche’s back-to-back 3-pointers and then another by Moffe. Brown’s three-point play just 2:53 into the game made it 12-2, and the Bulldogs led by at least nine for the remainder of the contest.

Roche finished 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the opening half as The Citadel led 43-31 at the break.

Pitt got within single digits at 50-41 about three minutes into the second half, but Moffe and Roche each knocked down a 3-pointer to help restore order.

The Panthers crawled back to within 58-48 with 11:32 to play, but Roche hit three foul shots and Rudy Fitzgibbons III drained a trey to push the advantage back to 64-50.

The issues for Pitt included their 2-of-17 shooting from 3-point range and a 15-of-31 performance from the foul line.

–Field Level Media

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