PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- This time, Pittsburgh left nothing to chance.
Julius Page, playing with a tender ankle, scored 11 of his 14 points in an overpowering first half as the 20th-ranked Panthers routed Chicago State, 79-51, to improve to 9-0 for the second straight season.
"I didn't hurt my ankle tonight; I just tweaked it in the second half," Page said. "Since we were ahead, I had the opportunity to rest it. If I don't ice it every day it gets stiff."
Since beating Alabama in its season opener at Madison Square Garden, Pittsburgh has feasted on inferior competition. However, the Panthers nearly got caught napping in their last game, holding on for a 79-74 victory over Georgetown College, an NAIA school.
Pittsburgh delivered an early knockout in this one, racing to a 50-18 halftime lead. The Panthers, in a stretch in which they will play 13 straight games in Pittsburgh, extended their school-record home winning streak to 29 games and improved to 23-0 at the Petersen Events Center.
"I was happy to see that we were sharing the ball tonight and had 22 assists to 30 baskets," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "This week was the first time that everyone's been healthy."
Yuri Demetris and Carl Krauser added 10 apiece for the Panthers, who cleared the bench in the second half. All 13 players scored at least two points for Pittsburgh.
"We got a chance to get some players into the game and give them some playing time," Dixon added. "They play hard in practice and deserve to get in the game."
The Panthers scored the game's first 12 points and took a 29-8 lead on Anton Graves' 3-pointer with 10:42 left in the first half.
Tony Weeden scored 14 points for Chicago State (1-8), which suffered its 40th straight road loss. All eight defeats have come against Division I opponents.
"This was the most physical team we have faced," Chicago State coach Kevin Jones said. "We have been in every game so far this year. In the first half, we went with a smaller lineup in hopes of moving the ball around a lot but that didn't work."
The Cougars shot just 22 percent (6-of-27) in the first half, then improved to 43 percent in the second (9-of-21) to finish at 31 percent. Pittsburgh shot just under 54 percent (30-of-56).
Pittsburgh does not play a true road game until January 10 at Miami.