The Pitt men’s basketball team lost its season finale to Georgia Tech on Wednesday, 73-57. It was another ugly offensive game for the Panthers and the team closes with a 15-16 regular season record. The Yellow Jackets (16-14) still have one game to play.
To the box score, the offensive issues are glaring. Only two players, Justin Champagnie and Eric Hamilton, got into double figures. Even so, they barely did as Champagnie had 11 and Hamilton had 12. Xavier Johnson eight points on 2-7 shooting from the field. Au’Diese Toney, eight points on 3-14 shooting. Trey McGowens 1-5. Even the aforementioned Champagnie was only 2-8. Collectively, the Panthers shot just under 31% from the field for the game. Pitt actually shot significantly better from three-point range (6-14 for 43%).
As bad as the game was, it could have actually been worse. Pitt shot 25 free throws, which was almost twice as much as Georgia Tech did. Despite the Yellow Jackets being nearly perfect from the line (12-13), Pitt picked up five points there just because of the volume they shot (17-25). Seven of Champagnie’s 11 points came from the free throw line.
Turnovers were a problem for Pitt but, well, they were a problem for Georgia Tech as well. Both teams had 18 of them and if you’re interested at the Pitt side, Johnson had six and Toney had 5. It goes without saying but both of those guys had very rough games.
The overarching story here is that, after a promising start, Pitt finished the season on a seven-game slide. Interestingly enough, a similar scenario was seen last year with the Panthers enduring a 13-game losing streak before winning two of their final three games.
I’ll have more on this slide and the season a bit later in a separate article but the Panthers clearly had their ups and downs. Progress was made over last season but gains have been minimal. A lot of emphasis will be placed on the team doubling their ACC win total from last year (three) to this year (six). But, as I mentioned before, the conference is obviously down and there’s much more parity. No team will finish with less than six wins this season and the Panthers will still find themselves likely in a tie for last place.
Not exactly what fans were hoping for after a 15-9 start after a nine-point win over Georgia Tech in early February.