Pitt entered its matchup with Georgia Tech with limited backcourt depth, as Ryan Murphy and Onye Ezeakudo were both ruled out due to injuries. However, that turned out to be a minor hindrance, as Pitt guard Justin Champagnie scored 30 points and led the Panthers to a 73-64 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
The 30-point total marked a career-high for Champagnie as well as the highest point total posted by any Pitt player in the 2019-20 season. It was also just the fourth time in program history that a Pitt freshman scored 30 points in a game. The other three times also came during the Jeff Capel era, with Trey McGowens scoring 33 against Louisville and 30 against Florida State and Xavier Johnson scoring 30 against Clemson last January.
”Justin was outstanding,” Capel said after the game. “He’s a guy that has a lot of talent and is learning how to put it all together. And he’s learning what it requires to be a really good player at this level. ... He wants to be good. He’s starting to figure out it’s hard. Everything you want is on the other side of ‘hard.’ ... You have to conquer ‘hard.’ So you have to work harder. And he’s learning how to do that.”
Champagnie scored nine of his 30 points on three-pointers and converted on 75 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. He also went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line, led the team with nine rebounds, and contributed two steals and a block to the Panthers' winning effort.
With the win over Georgia Tech in the books, Champagnie’s stat line for the season now sits at 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. That places him second on the team in scoring, trailing only Trey McGowens, who has averaged 12.9 points per game.