Ugly game for Pitt as the Panthers led for most of the first half, only to crash and burn for the rest of the game and fall to Georgetown 64-52.
Pitt just couldn't solve Georgetown's defense in the second half and spent the majority of their possessions passing around the perimeter when getting the ball inside worked so well for them in the regular season game against the Hoyas. Georgetown's defense pretty much dominated Pitt's offense after a quick 6-0 burst to start the second half to get within two of the Hoyas as Georgetown held Pitt to under 37% shooting. It was really a reversal of Pitt's win over St. John's yesterday. Georgetown went on a run to take the lead late in the first half and spent the second half slowly pushing the lead to double figures and playing great defense.
This team's fascination with shooting three-pointers baffles me. Pitt has not been a team to shoot a bunch of long-range shots in years past, yet frequently, Pitt is attempting more than 20 s a game this season. It would be fine if they made some of them, but that's not been the case for even Ashton Gibbs - the guy who shot nearly 50% from that distance last season. Today was no different as Pitt went 5-21 from behind the arc.
Ashton Gibbs played his final Big East Tournament game, scoring 14 points on 4-12 shooting and was 2-8 from the perimeter. Nasir Robinson also played his final game, scoring seven points. They've both received their fair share of criticism throughout their careers, but it's sad to see them end their careers with this kind of season after both experienced so much success in their first three seasons.
More breakdown of this beatdown after the jump:
When Pitt beat the Hoyas earlier in the season, Pitt was able to get the ball inside with ease, thanks in part to numerous lapses in the Georgetown defense. This time, Georgetown's defense was tough, holding the big men to just ten points. Pitt needed to get the ball inside more to have a chance and they couldn't get through Georgetown's zone. Pitt also needed to get to the free throw line and convert. The Panthers were 11-18 from the line while the Hoyas got to the line 31 times. Pitt this season can't win games when the free throw difference is that big.
The lone bright spot was turnovers. Pitt actually did not turn the ball over that many times throughout the game with only ten, which is a small miracle with this team. Pitt had only three at the end of the first half, but all of that is of little consolation.
Like they have in other games this season, Pitt just couldn't contain big men if they got hot. Otto Porter and Henry Sims each had 20 points while Greg Whittington had 11. Whether it was missed assignments, bad rebounding, or dumb fouls, Pitt's front line could not stop Sims or Porter from scoring at will. It will be something that this bunch will have to work on in the offseason. As much as we want Steven Adams to come in and dominate, he's still going to need a breather at some point. Dante and Zanna have some work to do.
At 17-16, Pitt could still make the NIT field. I think they will in the end, but it remains to be seen if they actually do. Would Pitt accept a CBI bid? I'm not sure. Personally, I hope they don't. If they're not good enough for the NIT, then close the book and let's move towards next season.