- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Pittsburgh just kept coming, in waves, furiously pounding the boards.

In no time at all, the 22nd-ranked Panthers have put their stamp on the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Talib Zanna scored 22 points, James Robinson added 16 and Pittsburgh pulled away in the second half, remaining perfect in the ACC with a bruising 81-74 victory over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.

The Panthers (16-1, 4-0) did most of their work on the inside, piling up an astonishing 38-18 rebounding edge.

“This is the first team I’ve seen in the ACC that attacks the glass like they did,” Georgia Tech sophomore Marcus Georges-Hunt said. “If one guy misses, they’re all on the glass.”

Pitt trailed 35-32 at halftime but quickly seized control after the break for its sixth straight win. Georgia Tech (10-7, 1-3) called a couple of quick timeouts, trying to stem the onslaught, but the Yellow Jackets couldn’t prevent another victory by the conference newcomer.

Next up for the Panthers: a Saturday showdown with the ACC’s other new member, second-ranked and unbeaten Syracuse.

“We didn’t even bring up the thought that Syracuse was coming up down the schedule,” Robinson said. “We knew we had to come in here and battle.”

Giving Pitt a bit of a scare in the final minute, Georgia Tech got as close as 78-74 before the Panthers sealed it at the free throw line. It was their closest victory of the season, the first 15 coming by an average of 17.8 points.

Trae Golden led Georgia Tech with 22 points.

The previous day, Pittsburgh moved into The Associated Press poll for the first time this season. The Panthers sure looked worthy of the ranking through much of the second half, leading by as many as 14 points.

Cameron Wright had 14 points, 12 in the second half. Lamar Patterson scored all 12 of his points after the break, bouncing back after missing all five shots in the first half.

“I’m really happy with how we did it, how we responded,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “Rebounding is something we have to do to win on the road. To lead by that kind of margin is good.”

The first 20 minutes were tight, with 11 lead changes and neither team getting up by more than five points. Georgia Tech closed the period with a flourish, taking advantage of two turnovers to rip off a quick 6-0 run that prompted Dixon to disgustedly call a timeout with 57 seconds remaining.

Robinson hit a jumper to halt the spurt, and Georgia Tech squandered a chance to take some momentum to the locker room when Georges-Hunt missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Yellow Jackets settled for a three-point lead.

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