PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Arkansas-Pine Bluff provided a challenge to No. 5 Pittsburgh - for 15 minutes.
Chevon Troutman led five players in double figures with 15 points as the Panthers pulled away from the overmatched Lions in the second half en route to an 89-49 triumph.
Pitt took the lead for good, 26-24, on a jumper by Julius Page with 6:15 to play in the first half, but its lead was just one point with five minutes to play before it scored nine of the final 12 points to take a 37-30 edge into the break.
"Our first half, we were anxious," Panthers coach Ben Howland said. "Anyone can beat anyone on any given night and we need to respect all of our opponents. Arkansas-Pine Bluff made some very tough shots with a hand in their face."
The Panthers (3-0) extended their advantage to 20 points midway through the second half and cruised thereafter.
Pitt won its 20th consecutive non-conference home game and improved to 3-0 at the new Petersen Events Center.
Page had 14 points, Jaron Brown 13, Brandin Knight 11 and Toree Morris 10 for the Panthers, who shot 49 percent (32-of-65) and held the Lions to 33 percent (18-of-54).
"It is difficult when you don't know a team's tendencies," Knight said. "We all thought they were going to play man (defense) and they played us in a zone."
Billy Hall Jr. had 15 points to pace Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which has lost its first four games this season after going 2-26 last season.
Hall, the Lions' sole double-digit scorer, made three of his team's nine 3-pointers. Pitt only made five shots from the arc but sank 20-of-26 free throws while Arkansas-Pine Bluff made only 4-of-7.
The Panthers dominated the boards, outrebounding the Lions, 50-25. Donatas Zavackas grabbed 11 rebounds and Morris eight.
"Troutman, Zavackas, (Ontario) Lett and Morris all are playing their position very well," Howland said of his big men. "We want to outrebound our opponents by 10 every night."
"I knew we weren't playing that well in the first half," said Morris, who had eight points, six rebounds and two blocks in the second half. "Arkansas-Pine Bluff was hitting a lot of shots and we needed to stop them in the second half. I took it upon myself to get the team excited and gain some momentum."