Trey McGowens scored 30 points and Pitt used smothering defense to survive a tough night shooting and upset No. 11 Florida State, 75-62 at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt snapped a 13-game losing streak against ranked opponents. Their last such win came against Florida State in the same building in 2017.
This upset seemed improbable at first, as Pitt couldn’t make anything in the opening moments of the game, starting 0-for-7 from the floor, 0 for 3 from 3-point range, and even missing a dunk.
The Panthers were kept alive throughout the first half with their proficiency at the charity stripe, both in the number of trips and conversion rate. Pitt was 17 of 20 from the free-throw line in the first half and 36 of 44 overall.
McGowens led the parade to the foul line for the Panthers, hitting 18 of 19 freebies for most of his 30 points. The reigning ACC Rookie of the Week also chipped in with seven rebounds and four assists.
In the second half, the Panthers still struggled to find their stroke, but they held the Seminoles to practically nothing on offense. Florida State made just eight field goals out of 33 attempts after the half, a 24.2 percent shooting percentage. The Seminoles were 1 for 13 from 3-point range in the final period and 2 of 21 overall.
Freshman point guard Xavier Johnson continued his consistent production. He scored 18 points on 4 of 12 shooting and was a perfect 10 for 10 at the free-throw line. He has scored 10 or more points in all 17 games to start his Pitt career.