Pitt had its home opener against Montana and lost in overtime, 83-78.
That the game even went to overtime was a break for Pitt. The Panthers trailed by two and Montana had the ball, bringing it up the court. A momentary lapse caused them to receive a ten-second violation and Pitt subsequently tied it to send it to overtime.
This was a really back and forth game. I don’t know how many lead changes there were but the amount of times I thought Pitt would win or less changed quite a lot. For Pitt, the trio of Jared Wilson-Frame, Ryan Luther, and Shamiel Stevenson led the way with a combined 47 points (Stevenson led the way with 18). Luther also hauled in nine rebounds, leading the team.
Pitt’s offense (well, its scoring, anyway) has been salvageable. The biggest problem tonight? Turnovers and rebounding. Pitt had 19 turnovers and were outrebounded, 36-34. Both of those areas are certain to be problems all year long. The Panthers aren’t getting any taller and a team composed almost entirely of underclassmen is going to make turnovers.
This was a frustrating one because you just kind of thought Pitt should win it. At one point they led by seven and some really bad turnovers were a big problem all night. They just couldn’t extend a lead anytime they had one and Montana hung around and made shots.
Most of their shots were made by Montana’s Michael Oguine. He had 29 points and just made basket after basket.
One thing that Pitt can clean up going forward is taking some better shots on offense. I thought there were some times when Pitt should have tried to go to either Luther or Wilson-Frame instead of someone else throwing up a bad shot. Those two guys aren’t stars per se, but they’re much more capable of coming up with shots than most of the rest of the team.
A final note for me is that I personally like Shamiel Stevenson brings. He’s sort of like a bull in a china shop sometimes and can be a little out of control. But I really think that kid is going to be pretty good. And while Marcus Carr had a rough night (1-7 shooting with five turnovers), same goes for him. Both will only continue to improve.
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