Pitt Makes A Statement With Blowout Victory Over No. 12 North Carolina


Feb 14, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Sheldon Jeter (21) shoots against North Carolina Tar Heels forward J.P. Tokoto (13) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, Pitt went super cold in the final 12 minutes against No. 9 Louisville, only making two baskets in a deflating defeat.

On Valentine’s Day, Pitt had a special gift for Roy Williams and his No. 12 Tar Heels.

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Pitt put on a shooting clinic in arguably their best performance of the season against No. 12 North Carolina, shooting 65% on 37 of 57 shot attempts.

Sophomore guard/forward Sheldon Jeter continued to show confidence, knocking down 10 of 14 shots to score a career-high 22 points in a 89-76 blowout win for Pitt.

Some may ask, how did Jeter not play significant minutes for the majority of the season.  Jeter got his chance when Wright was injured early against Syracuse last weekend.

The score may not be indicative of the game, as North Carolina never had a lead, and Pitt was up by 24 points in the second half.

It was Roy Williams Tar Heels’ first time visiting the Peterson Events Center, and Pitt showed some respect honoring legendary Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, who passed away last week.  Students from the Oakland Zoo gave Williams a condolence card covered with signatures and a banner highlighting Dean Smith’s favorite quote.

For Pitt (17-9, 6-6 ACC), Jeter led the team with 22 points, whereas five others scored in double figures.  Senior guard Cameron Wright returned from injury to score 15 points and 10 assists.  Junior point guard James Robinson scored 12 points and 8 assists.

This young Pitt squad is growing up in front of our eyes, showing glimpses into what this program can be the next two seasons.

Due to foul trouble, senior center Derrick Randall responded nicely and played a solid game at the center position, giving Pitt a much-needed lift at the position.

For UNC (18-7, 8-4 ACC), junior forward Brice Johnson scored 19 points, and sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks came off the bench and added 15 points.  Junior guard Marcus Paige was held to only 8 points on 3 of 11 shooting, as James Robinson defended him well.

Pitt played well in every aspect of the game.  It was one of the best shooting performances for Pitt as of late, and the Panthers also made 8 of 15 three-point attempts.

In front of a rowdy Oakland Zoo, Pitt jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead to set the tone for the game.

Pitt looks most effective when they drive the ball to the hoop, instead of playing a half-court game.  The Tar Heels like to run, and Pitt showed them that they can do that as well.

A Robinson lay-up gave Pitt an early 16-9 lead, but a Paige three-pointer tied the game at 16.

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  • With Pitt up 28-24, Jeter knocked down back-to-back field goals to extend the lead to 33-24 with under six minutes left in the half.

    Pitt continued its hot shooting, as Chris Jones and Robinson made back-to-back three pointers, followed by a Wright jumper to make it 46-32.

    Keep in mind that Pitt only scored 56 points total against Louisville the previous game.

    Sophomore forward Michael Young capped off the half with a dunk to give Pitt an impressive 48-34 advantage.

    In the second half, Pitt blew the game wide open, as Jeter continued to knock down every shot he took.

    With 9 minutes to go, Chris Jones buried a three-pointer to extend Pitt’s lead to 74-50, and many of the North Carolina fans in attendance headed toward the exits.

    With the game essentially decided, UNC went on an 11-1 run to end the game, but Pitt won convincingly 89-76.

    This was a statement win for Pitt, who is currently on the NCAA Tournament Bubble and looking to build its resume.  This team is young but has shown signs of being dangerous against Notre Dame, Syracuse, Louisville, and now UNC.

    Point guard James Robinson played one of his best games offensively and defensively.  Sophomore forwards Michael Young and Jamel Artis were both in foul trouble, but both managed to put together solid performances.  Jeter continues to show athleticism and a deadly mid-range game.

    Pitt looked more comfortable taking open shots, and the Panthers took advantage of a porous Tar Heels defense.

    I love the direction this team is heading.  If you substract the final 12 minutes of their past game at Louisville, Pitt has been on a roll.


    Pitt will travel to No. 2 Virginia for a huge matchup Monday night.  A win over Virginia could project Pitt into the tourney.

    North Carolina has had an emotional week with the passing of Dean Smith and the murders of a graduate student, his wife, and sister.  The Tar Heels have lost 3 of 4 and will be looking to get back on track against Duke.

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