Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Brad Wanamaker finished with 19 points as sixth-ranked Pittsburgh earned a 61-46 victory over American, giving head coach Jamie Dixon his 200th win.
Dixon is in his eighth season and tied the NCAA Division I record for quickest to 200 wins, matching Gonzaga's Mark Few and North Carolina's Roy Williams, who began his head coaching career at Kansas.
Dixon said that after the game, his senior players presented him with the game ball and gave a speech, thanking him for the hard work.
"I reminded them I have 200 wins because of my good players and that beats coaching any day, and I'm sticking to that philosophy," Dixon said. "It's a gesture that I really appreciated."
Gilbert Brown added 15 points while Ashton Gibbs provided 10 for the Panthers (12-1), who have won 56 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents.
Pitt played its final non-conference game of the season Wednesday, and will open its Big East schedule Monday against Connecticut.
Vlad Moldoveanu scored a game-high 23 points for American (7-5), which has lost two of three. The Eagles were out-rebounded by a 41-24 margin.
"All it takes is a quick glance at the stat sheet to tell you the story of the game," said American head coach Jeff Jones. "Obviously Pitt came in as the best rebounding team in the country and they didn't do anything to disappoint tonight."
The Eagles trailed by 16 at halftime, but opened the second half with two layups from Stephen Lumpkins and a Moldoveanu three. The run made it a 34-25 game, and American was within single digits multiple times over the first 10 minutes of the period.
However, the Eagles couldn't trim their deficit to one or two possessions over the stretch, leaving the door open for Pitt to make a timely run and secure the outcome.
The Panthers did just that. After Moldoveanu's jumper with 10:40 on the clock got American within 47-39, Pitt scored nine consecutive points. Gibbs and Brown ended the burst with back-to-back threes, giving the Panthers a 56-39 advantage and the ability to cruise over the final 5:46 of the game.
The same scenario played out in the first half, when it was tight for the first 10 minutes before Pitt eventually pulled away.
The Eagles got within 16-14 on a Moldoveanu basket with 10:30 remaining, but the Panthers scored the next 11 points over a six-minute stretch. Gibbs' jumper made it a 27-14 game with 4:26 to go, and Pitt held a 34-18 lead at the break.
Wednesday's contest marked the first meeting between the teams...Dixon owns a 200-55 career record...Pitt shot 40 percent and made only 13-of-25 free throws, but turned the ball over just five times...American had 11 turnovers...Lumpkins ended with 10 points.
12/23 01:25:48 ET