PITTSBURGH—Ashton Gibbs scored 23 points and Pittsburgh bolted to a 13-point lead in the opening 6 1/2 minutes to take control, and the Panthers held off a late rally to defeat DePaul 65-52 on Monday night in the Big East opener for both teams.Gibbs scored three baskets to help Pitt (11-2) surge to a 15-2 lead and the Panthers led by as many as 16 points at 30-14. DePaul (7-6), coming off a 64-61 loss to Florida Gulf Coast, was held to nine points in the opening 10 minutes.Jermaine Dixon, the only returning starter from Pitt’s 31-5 team of last season that reached an NCAA regional final, added 12 points.Will Walker and Mac Koshwal scored 11 points each and Mario Stula had 10 as cold-shooting DePaul lost its fifth in seven games.
Walt Gibler scored 14 points Monday night to lead Loyola to a 63-46 victory over St. Francis of Wheaton.Geoff McCammon scored 12 points, Courtney Stanley 11 and Ben Averkamp 10 for the Ramblers (10-2). Andy Polka had 16 rebounds for Loyola, which held a 47-25 advantage in rebounds.Billy Hubly was the only player in double figures for St. Francis (3-12) with 19 points. The Fighting Saints, who play in the NAIA, led 15-11 with 8 minutes left in the first half before Loyola went on a 19-3 run. Still, St. Francis scored the last seven points of the first half and trailed only by 30-25 at halftime.Loyola didn’t open up a double-figure lead until 9:20 remained in the game.