Pitt Outlasts Georgia Tech 70-65 In ACC Battle To Improve To 13-5 Overall


Jan 6, 2015; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers Head Coach Jamie Dixon reacts during the final seconds of the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Silvio O. Conte Forum. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt Panthers were looking to string together some consecutive wins in ACC play, building upon Wednesday night’s victory against Florida State.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets visited the Pete, looking for their first ACC victory of the season.

In a back and forth battle, Pitt managed to pull ahead late in the game, and the Panthers made enough free throws to secure their third ACC victory of the season, 70-65.

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For Pitt (13-5, 3-2 ACC), the Panthers were able to hold Georgia Tech scoreless for a 5-minute span.  The Yellow Jackets (9-8, 0-5 ACC) have played every ACC contest close, but they simply don’t have the scoring to pull out some wins in close games.

For the Panthers, senior guard Cameron Wright and sophomore forward Jamel Artis each scored 20 points, while sophomore forward Michael Young added 16 points.  Pitt shot 44% from the field and only made two three-pointers on eleven attempts.

For Georgia Tech, senior forward Robert Sampson scored 16 points and hauled in 8 rebounds off the bench, and junior forward Marcus Georges-Hunt added 13 points, as the team shot 40% from the field.

Georgia Tech won the rebounding battle 39-29, but they committed 15 turnovers compared to only 6 by Pitt.

Midway through the first half, Pitt pulled out to a 19-10 lead off a Sheldon Jeter lay-up, but Georgia Tech stormed back to take a 27-25 lead off two Sampson free throws.  In a game of lead changes, both teams entered the locker-rooms at the half tied up at 31.

Seven minutes into the second half, Travis Jorgenson nailed a three-pointer to give the Yellow Jackets a 46-42 lead, but Cameron Wright and Jamel Artis scored key buckets to give Pitt back the lead.  It appeared as though the three-pointer was shot after there was a shot-clock violation, but the referees did not review it.

With less than two minutes remaining, a Michael Young lay-up gave Pitt a 60-55 lead.  Down the final stretch, several Panthers made their free throws to secure the victory.

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  • From 5:12 to 1:12 in the game, Georgia Tech was held scoreless, as the Pitt defense began to find the toughness that has been missing this season.

    Pitt appears to be finding some rhythm at home against mid-to-bottom tier ACC opponents, and hopefully this gives the Panthers a confidence boost going into Big Monday on the road at No. 4 Duke.  That game will not be easy, as Duke held No. 6 Louisville to poor shooting today.

    Pitt still hasn’t shot particularly well, missing three open three-pointers in one possession.  Who will step up as a primary scorer for Pitt?  Can the young sophomores continue to improve and lead Pitt to an NCAA tourney berth?

    It is important that Pitt racks up wins against the inferior ACC teams, as the schedule is about to heat up.  Pitt will travel to Duke, host Louisville, Notre Dame, and Syracuse, followed by traveling to Louisville, hosting North Carolina, and finally traveling to Virginia and Syracuse.

    The young Pitt Panthers will have ample opportunities to make its case for an NCAA Tournament bid.

    New Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi and his coaching staff hosted recruits and took in the win at the Pete this afternoon.  Maybe Pitt football will secure a few commitments soon.


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