Ahead of Thursday night’s matchup between Pitt and Clemson, Mike Gminski of the ACC Network broke down the stakes of the game on the broadcast, noting that the Tigers were looking to hang onto a double bye in the upcoming conference tournament.
”And then you got Pitt just looking for a mental health victory right now,” he added.
Unfortunately, the Panthers would not get that much-needed victory, as they fell to the Tigers 72-48 at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Pitt struggled early against Clemson, and it wasn’t a result of overwhelming defense. Needless turnovers and fouls piled up for the Panthers in the first few minutes of the game, allowing the Tigers to establish a lead. On top of that, missed layups and a general failure to convert uncontested shots saw Clemson’s lead bloat to 32-19.
Terrell Brown was one of Pitt’s few bright spots of the night, as he accounted for 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting heading into the half. He even contributed a rare three-pointer early on. However, missed shots and turnovers from Marcus Carr and Jared Wilson-Frame set the Panthers back from the onset of the game.
The second half opened with a beautifully drawn up play by Pitt that saw Carr find Khameron Davis for an easy layup. But what followed was anything but beautiful.
Clemson’s Gabe DeVoe had already been heating up late in the first half, and less than five minutes into the second, he was on fire. At one point, he sank a three-pointer from the edge of the midcourt paw print. Shelton Mitchell came alive from beyond the arc as well, and a short time later, the Panthers found themselves down 56-28.
When all was said and done, DeVoe had tied his career-high point total of 25, and Mitchell, who once played for Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings in Vanderbilt, had added 12 points of his own primarily on three-pointers.
The good news for Pitt in an otherwise dismal outing was the emergence of Brown, whose standout performance carried into the second half. By the end of the night, he had put up a career-high 19 points to go with eight rebounds, two blocks and one steal. However, he was the only Panther to score in double digits on the night.
With the loss, Pitt fell to 0-12 in conference and 8-17 overall on the season. The Panthers will take the court again Sunday at 1 p.m., when they head home to face a Louisville team that has dropped three of its last four games.