For the second straight game (heck, the second straight day), Pitt’s basketball team produced a somewhat surprising result. Like yesterday, the Panthers took a loss as they were defeated by Oklahoma State in the consolation game of the Legends Classic, 73-67. But unlike yesterday , Pitt actually made a run of things.
Like most of you, I’m sure, I didn’t catch today’s game which, for some reason, had to be in the middle of a weekday. But Pitt and Oklahoma State were pretty even all game long. Oklahoma State got up by nine in the second half but the Panthers closed that gap. They cut it to three with 16 seconds left but wouldn’t get any closer than that.
Shamiel Stevenson led the Panthers off the bench with 16 points and Jared Wilson-Frame (13), Marcus Carr (12), and Ryan Luther (10) all got into double figures. Luther led the team with eight rebounds and Carr had a game-high ten assists.
The game was a stark contrast to the Penn State contest last night when the Panthers were blown out of the water. I know there was a lot of hand-wringing and ‘If Pitt lost by 30 to this team, what will a good team do to them.’ Heck, I even got into some of that myself. But as I said yesterday, that game should probably have been much closer and the Nittany Lions won’t always shoot 69% from the field just as Pitt won’t always shoot 39%. Today, for example, the Panthers shot 51%. That was sort of a perfect storm of things that could go wrong for Pitt and, as they proved today, they’re capable of playing much better.
If there’s one thing we do know, there are going to be ups and downs with this team. The Panthers now sit at 1-4 and any win they get this year is likely going to be a struggle of sorts. But it’s good to see the team play much better after a game when they looked completely lost.
Next up for Pitt is a Saturday game against Lehigh.