Pitt guard Ryan Murphy’s performance was one of the few positives in his team’s 75-70 loss to Nicholls State on Saturday, as he once again came off the bench and led the team in scoring. This time, he had 28 points to go with five rebounds and three assists, and that point total marked a personal best for Murphy in NCAA competition. His previous high of 27 points came against Old Dominion on Jan. 27, 2018, when he was with Charlotte.
For the second straight game, Murphy was Pitt’s clear leader on offense. However, he took his game to another level on Saturday, as he came one point shy of matching the production of Pitt’s starting five. He also led the team with 10 made shots from the field, including four out of seven from beyond the arc. Murphy was the only Pitt player to make a three-pointer, as the rest of the team went 0-for-9 from distance.
Of course, as those stats suggest, Murphy got little in the way of help from the rest of the Panthers, as they struggled to produce. Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens were the only two players in Pitt’s lineup other than Murphy with double-digit point totals, as they had 10 each. However, Johnson found himself in foul trouble and played just 24 minutes.
While Murphy’s performance has been promising, slow starts from Au’Diese Toney, who has four points in 47 minutes, and Gerald Drumgoole, who has two points in 32 minutes, have hindered the team. In addition, Johnson and McGowens have both been playing below the standard they set last season, and with all four of those players struggling early, the team has seen sloppy play and mixed returns.
Now at 1-1 on the season, Pitt will look to right the ship in its third game of the season, when the team heads to nearby Moon Township to take on Robert Morris in the inaugural matchup at the UPMC Events Center. Tipoff from Moon Township is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.