I am sure the Pittsburgh Panthers (2-16, 2-13) are hoping that they don’t have to play the Clemson Tigers (17-11, 7-8) again this season. For the second time in as many games, Clemson came flying out of the gates and never looked back. If Pitt had any hopes of getting a home win on Wednesday night, the Tigers quickly slammed the door on that.
They connected on their first four attempts to take a 10-0 lead. Despite an early timeout by Panthers head coach Jeff Capel, his team never got back on track. Clemson converted six of their first seven three-pointers, in which five different players were credited, on route to a 24-7 advantage going into the under-12 media timeout.
Despite getting into the free throw bonus by the 9:01 mark, it didn’t matter as Pitt converted just one of a possible six free throws by the time they reached the double bonus. For the half, the Panthers were just 5-22 (22.7%) from the floor, 1-6 (16.7%) on triples, and managed to turn the ball over 8 times.
The Tigers got anything they wanted on route to shooting 15-27 (55.6%) from the field, a sizzling 8-14 (57.1%) from long distance despite not attempting a first half free throw. Marcquise Reed accounted for 18 total points with his 10 points and 3 assists (2 were three-pointers).
Clemson opened up a 44-18 lead thanks to a 6-2 run to start the half. Credit Pitt for not folding and continuing to fight. Xavier Johnson helped start a 13-2 run, however, it only brought the Panthers within 15 of the Tigers by the under-12 media timeout.
By the 5:57 mark, Pitt was able to get within 10 points after Xavier Johnson split a pair of free throws. However, a turnover by Johnson on the next possession immediately after a triple by Clemson saw the Panthers down 13 going into the under-4 media timeout. They continued to battle down the stretch, but were never able to get within one or two possessions of the Tigers.
It was a valiant effort by Pitt, but they dug themselves a hole early in the game and just were never able to get themselves out of it. They won’t have much time to catch their breath as they now have to play the Virginia Cavaliers on the road this Saturday in what will be their biggest road test of the season.