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Parker Stewart discusses Pitt’s 13-game losing streak

Stewart: “Each loss hurts as much as the last one.”

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt was blown out by Louisville 94-60 at the Petersen Events Center on Sunday afternoon in a game sadly reminiscent of last year’s historic loss to the same team. The 34-point rout at the hands of the Cardinals was the latest installment in a losing streak now spanning 13 games in conference play for the Panthers, who have not won a single contest since defeating Towson on Dec. 22.

During the postgame press conference on Sunday, Pitt guard Parker Stewart, one of the team’s few standout performers against Louisville, addressed the media and fielded questions about the streak.

“Each loss hurts as much as the last one. Every game you lose, really you can learn from it, but at the end of the day, we talk about we have to change. We can’t keep going out there and playing the same way, so I think that’s something we need to do, too,” Stewart said. “A loss is a loss, but when you lose like that at home, that is kind of embarrassing.”

Stewart went on to add that the mood in the locker room wasn’t necessarily somber, but the team was “discouraged” by the string of defeats. He also pointed to inconsistency among the players as the crux of the issue, noting, “Once we figure out how to get everyone playing to their full potential on the same night, we will give someone a problem.”

Sunday’s loss was Pitt’s seventh loss by 20 or more points this season and the team’s third such loss in a row. Prior to the team’s unfortunate streak of blowouts, Pitt had shown improvement, finishing within five points of NC State and Syracuse at home in late January.

The Panthers had also made progress in their rematches with conference opponents prior to the Louisville game, as they narrowed their margin of defeat against Syracuse from 14 on Jan. 16 to five on Jan. 27. They saw similar gains against Duke and Miami and surely aimed to continue that trend against Louisville, but the Cards improved on their last margin of victory by 12 points Sunday.

Despite a lackluster showing from Pitt overall, Stewart managed to set himself apart for all the right reasons, making 50 percent of his six three-point shots and 40 percent of his shots overall. He contributed 12 points, four rebounds and an assist against the Cardinals, only turning the ball over once in a game in which just three of Pitt’s 11 active players did not record a turnover.

Stewart and the Panthers will hit the court again Tuesday at 7 p.m., when they face Boston College at home.