Today is February 8, and Pitt has now surpassed their win total from last season. The Panthers get their 15th win of the season and 6th in the ACC.
The story of the game is obviously Justin Champagnie who was everywhere all game. He scored in every possible way, put-backs, threes, mid-range. To have 30 points on only 17 shots is one heck of a performance. Trey McGowens (14) and Xavier Johnson (11) also finished in double figures. Georgia Tech was led by guard MIchael Devoe who had 22 and forward Moses Wright with 12. The Yellow Jackets shot the ball well but were done in by 22 turnovers.
Pitt got off to a slow start again in this one as Tech took leads of 10-2 and 14-8 early. Champagnie and Brown spearheaded a 9-0 run to take a 17-14 lead and they never trailed again. Tech did tie the game briefly at 52 with seven minutes, but Pitt pulled away after.
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner was incredibly complimentary of Pitt in the post game, saying Pitt could be in the top three or four of the ACC next season. I think you have to take any losing coach’s commentary with a grain of salt, but it’s possible. The ACC is obviously not having a good year. UNC and UVA will be much better next year, and there’s always a random team that gets into the upper third. It might as well be Pitt. Now for the grades.
Justin Champagnie - This might be the easiest A+ grade I’ve given all season. 30 and 9 with 0 turnovers. Wow.
Grade: A+ obviously
Terrell Brown - Brown had an decent first half offensively, but he did get called for a basket interference and was in foul trouble all game.
Xavier Johnson - X played every minute in this one. He didn’t shoot the ball well (2-10) but he finished 7-8 from the line and had seven assists vs zero turnovers. I’ll take that from my point guard.
Trey McGowens - Trey finished with a career-high nine assists. Like Johnson, he also did not shoot well, but his two three pointers were timely. His first extended Pitt’s lead to 7 early in the second half and his second came immediately after GT tied it at 52.
Au’Diese Toney - Toney scored all six of his points in the second half with his biggest basket coming on a second chance opportunity with four minutes to play. Toney is someone I expect to make a huge jump as an upperclassmen, which is something I would not have said two months ago.
Eric Hamilton - This was not a good game for him. He fouled out in 16 and a half minutes with two points. He can be better but like some other players, he might be overmatched in the ACC.
Gerald Drumgoole Jr/Abdoul Karim Coulibaly - Neither of them played much. Drumgoole got hosed on a charging call in the first half and Coulibaly made a free throw. Not much to go on here.
Pitt is back in action at home against Clemson on Wednesday, February 12.
Hail to Pitt