Pitt continues its push for its first Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title when the Panthers host Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
The Panthers (19-8, 12-4 ACC) saw a six-game winning streak come to an end with a 79-72 loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday and are now third in the league, a half-game behind Miami and a game behind Virginia.
Georgia Tech (11-16, 3-13) is coming off a 79-56 home win over Division II Florida Tech on Saturday, its third win in the past four games. The Yellow Jackets are in danger of finishing with a losing record for the second straight season after winning the ACC tournament in 2020.
Pitt, which won just six league games in each of the previous three seasons, enters the final stretch of the regular season positioned to make its first NCAA Tournament since 2016. The Panthers’ 12 league wins are their most since joining the ACC from the Big East prior to the 2013-2014 season.
Pitt gave up an 18-2 run midway through the first half against Virginia Tech on Saturday to trail 23-13 with 11:44 left. The Panthers didn’t get closer than five points the rest of the way.
Jamarius Burton, who averages a team-high 15.7 points per game, led the Panthers with 15 points, while Federiko Federiko added 12 against the Hokies. Greg Elliott chipped in 11 points and Nelly Cummings finished with 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds against Virginia Tech.
“(Virginia Tech) played with a sense of urgency,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. “They played with physicality. It knocked us off a little bit and we weren’t able to get into a rhythm.”
Georgia Tech took a break from conference play to rout Florida Tech.
Trailing 25-24 with 6:50 left in the first half, the Yellow Jackets closed on a 13-3 run to take a 37-28 halftime lead. Georgia Tech outscored Florida Tech 42-28 in the second half to win going away.
Lance Terry, who averages 9.5 points per game, led the way with 19 points, while Ja’von Franklin posted his third straight double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Jalon Moore added 15 points and six rebounds, with Miles Kelly, who averages a team-high 12.8 points per game, adding 12 points against the Panthers.
“I feel like we are coming together as one and we are going out and putting together a full 40 minutes,” Moore said. “I think we will definitely finish the season strong and make a run in the ACC tournament.”
Georgia Tech played host to Pitt on Jan. 14 in Atlanta, with Burton scored 19 points and Nike Sibande adding 21 off the bench to power Pitt to a 71-60 win. Deivon Smith had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech, while Dallan “Deebo” Coleman added 13 points.
–Field Level Media