The Pitt Panthers are now 18-7 overall and 11-3 in the ACC after an 83-75 win over Florida State on Saturday. This coupled with the 91-57 demolition of Louisville on Wednesday has Pitt on a 5-game winning streak heading into the stretch run.
Let’s start with the Louisville game. There isn’t a whole lot to say. Pitt outclassed an inferior opponent. The Cardinals led 4-2 and 7-5 and never again. Pitt’s lead grew to 38 after Guillermo Diaz-Graham hit a three off a pass from his brother with a little over 2 minutes left. Pitt shot 54% from the field and from three, 90% from the line, and blocked 13 shots (including 9 from the twins). The blowout win helps the perception of Pitt as a top-tier ACC team this season (as if the actual standings weren’t enough) because it again shows Pitt is capable of blowing out teams it should.
Pitt allowed Florida State to hang around for the first 38 minutes before a Blake Hinson three with 2:35 left extended the lead to nine points and FSU did not threaten again. The Panthers learned from their mistakes, holding Darin Green Jr (who scored 24 in the previous meeting a few weeks ago) to 9 points on 3-12 shooting. Blake Hinson paced the Panthers with 14 points on 5-7 shooting in the first half but went cold in the second, missing his first seven shots in the 2nd frame. However, as is the case with just about every Pitt game in the ACC, another player stepped up. After FSU cut the lead to 58-56, Sibande scored 10 of Pitt’s next 12 points over the next 3 minutes to maintain the lead. This was a crucial stretch as the Seminoles kept scoring as well. Nike scored 12 points in all, with all of them coming in those final seven minutes. Also in double figures were Jamarius Burton with 19 and Greg Elliott with 13.
Pitt takes on Boston College at home on Tuesday at 9 pm.