PITTSBURGH — Since beating Duke on Jan. 19, Pitt had gained only one sport coming into Saturday’s rescheduled matchup in opposition to No. 16 Florida State, whom the Panthers had defeated of their 4 earlier contests at residence.
The Seminoles ended their dropping streak on the Petersen Occasions Middle as they claimed victory over the Panthers, 79-72.
The loss was the Panthers fourth in a row and seventh in eight video games.
The Seminoles (13-3, 9-2) have been coming off their largest win of the season, a 21-point upset of No. 7 Virginia on Monday evening, whereas the Panthers (9-9, 5-8) have been reeling after a one-point loss to N.C. State on Wednesday.
The Seminoles’ depth and dimension proved to be an excessive amount of for the Panthers, who have been with out second-leading scorer Au’Diese Toney, who missed the sport with an undisclosed damage. Pitt Coach Jeff Capel had no replace on Toney’s situation or future availability. Toney is averaging 14.4 factors per sport for the Panthers and has 12 double-digit scoring video games below his belt this season.
Regardless of the loss, Pitt regarded higher defensively, holding the Seminoles’ capturing to 44.8 % and 28.6 % from the three-point line, the bottom percentages allowed by the Panthers since defeating Virginia Tech on Feb. 3.
“I’m pleased with how we fought,” Capel stated after the sport. “Clearly, we have been one man down, a extremely necessary man. I believed some guys stepped up. Nike (Sibande) performed probably the most minutes that he’s performed. I believed he did some actually good issues on the market.”
“We did some good issues, clearly not ok. There aren’t any ethical victories for us,” Capel stated. “We need to win the basketball sport and thought we had an opportunity to.”
Pitt’s Justin Champagnie led all scorers with 21 factors and added 10 rebounds for his eleventh double-double of the season.
Champagnie thought it was Pitt’s finest efficiency in a number of video games.
“I believe it was higher than it’s been in a very long time. I really feel like we fought to the tip,” Champagnie stated. “We had somewhat defensive lapse and stuff like that, however I felt like we fought arduous for 40 minutes.”
Standing at 6-foot-6, Champagnie leads the ACC in scoring and rebounds. His double-double on Saturday was hard-earned having to go up in opposition to a Florida State staff that boasts six gamers who’re taller than Champagnie.
“It’s tough, you recognize,” Champagnie stated. “You may’t actually put together for a staff at that dimension. However I really feel like I attempted to complete by way of contact and get to the free throw line. I really feel like my teammates did the identical factor.”
Florida State constructed a 10-point lead halfway by way of the primary half earlier than the Panthers have been in a position to get inside one following a 13-4 run over the subsequent three minutes. A Pitt scoring drought late within the first half put the Panthers additional behind as Florida State led 39-33 at halftime.
The Panthers stored it shut, however the sport turned with slightly below 12 minutes remaining as 6-foot-9 Florida State freshman guard Scottie Barnes acquired concerned within the scoring. The Seminoles led 53-49 and Barnes had simply three factors up till that time of the sport earlier than scoring six factors on Florida State’s 8-2 run that gave the Seminoles a 61-51 lead with 9:21 remaining within the sport.
“They wore us down. That’s what they do, that’s what Florida State does,” Capel stated. “They arrive at you in waves. They’ve these huge, large, athletic guys that they simply preserve sending in. Their type of play – the best way they stress the basketball consistently, take passes away.
“They’re very, very bodily and I believed they wore us down.”
RaiQuan Grey led the Seminoles with 16 factors, whereas RayQuan Evans and Malik Osborne every added 12, and Barnes chipped in with 11. Florida State’s main scorer, M.J. Walker, who was averaging 13.9 factors per sport coming into Saturday, was held scoreless.
After a tough first half during which he scored only a single level, Pitt’s Xavier Johnson rebounded within the second half to complete with 15 factors. Sibande, who noticed important minutes in Toney’s absence, scored 12 factors and added 7 boards.
Capel, who voiced his frustration with Johnson after Wednesday’s N.C. State sport, stated the key to the purpose guard’s second half efficiency was easy – he completed photographs.
“Within the first half, he didn’t end stuff. Stuff on the basket and issues like that,” Capel stated. “He was in a position to get some photographs to enter the basket within the second half. I believe that was the distinction. I don’t suppose the photographs have been any completely different. I simply suppose he was simply in a position to see and go for the basket.”
Pitt’s subsequent sport is scheduled for Feb. 28, a rematch with N.C. State on the PNC Enviornment in Raleigh.
Amanda Filipcic-Godsey is a contract author in Pittsburgh. She covers Pitt soccer and basketball for CNHI Pa. newspapers. Comply with her on Twitter @AmandaFGodsey