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Gibbs' 23 lead Pitt past DePaul 65-52

Dec 29, 2009 - 2:18 AM By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH(AP) -- 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.