"Obviously, Huggs has mentioned it and told us we've played well and battled them, but it's more important how you play for 40 minutes," Mazzulla said.
That's been a theme for WVU all season, but in Saturday's 72-58 win against then-No. 8 Notre Dame, the Mountaineers outscored the opponent after halftime for the first time in six games and just the fourth time in 14 Big East games.
WVU shot 28.6 percent in the first half, but 53.8 percent in the second half and outscored the Fighting Irish 46-31. A 15-point lead with 8:23 to go never dipped below 10 points the rest of the way.
"We finished the game," Mazzulla said. "We got the lead and it went from three to seven to 10 points and before you new it, it was at 13, 15 points. We did a really good job building and not letting up. It's something we have to learn to do to be a good postseason team."
The Mountaineers have designs on the postseason and are No. 21 in the RPI with the nation's fourth-toughest schedule. A win against the Panthers would give WVU a third win against a top-10 team, as well as one each against the Big East's top three teams.
It would also prevent Pitt from sweeping the regular-season series for the second time in the past three seasons. The Panthers won on WVU's home floor, 71-66, on Feb. 7.
"We were consistent with them, or outplayed them, in the first half and then we let them get the best of us in the second half," Mazzulla said. "Great teams like that put complete games together and not one half."
The Panthers won that game without Gibbs, who leads the team at 16.7 points per game. That was the first of a three-game absence with a knee injury. He returned in Saturday's loss to St. John's and scored a career-high 26 points in 34 minutes off the bench.
Pitt managed without Gibbs at the Coliseum thanks to a 42-24 scoring edge in the paint and 16 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds. The Panthers were just 1-for-6 from 3-point range without Gibbs and his 47.3 percent accuracy, but the make as a big one. Travon Woodall doubled Pitt's lead and made it 54-48 with 6:28 remaining.
"They don't beat themselves," Huggins said. "They're not a great free throw-shooting team, but if you watch them, when they have to make free throws, they make them. They're not a great perimeter-shooting team, but when they have to make perimeter shots, they make them.
"They made a couple shots last year against us that they really hadn't made all year - and they've done that for a while."
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HUGGINS ANNOUNCED on his radio show Monday night that a non-conference series with Kansas State will begin next season with a neutral-court game in Wichita, Kan. The Wildcats will travel for the rematch the following season.
"It is likely that a return engagement from a neutral site would also be played at a neutral site," WVU Deputy Athletic Director Mike Parsons said.
In the past, WVU has played those games at the Charleston Civic Center.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.