BOSTON — it’s tough to say for sure what Pitt men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel asked for his 44th birthday on Tuesday, but it certainly was not his team’s eight straight loss in ACC play as the Panthers couldn’t match Boston College, 66-57.
It had been just over two years since Pitt last won a road game before the Panthers entered Conte Forum on Boston College’s campus. It was the same setting as their last road win, an 83-72 victory over the Eagles on Feb. 8, 2017. Since then, they’d lost 20 consecutive away games.
The 21st was something of a gut-punch as the Eagles came into the game with a 2-8 record in conference play — one of four teams with two wins in the basement of the league.
The Panthers got off to a tough start, with starting guards Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens shooting a combined 3 of 15 from the floor in the first half, but Pitt got a strong performance from senior wing Jared Wilson-Frame, who hit 3 of 5 from long range in the first half to power Pitt to just a four-point deficit at the break despite shooting 33 percent from the floor as a team.
But the Panthers battled back in the second half and held a two-point lead with 8:22 to play.
Then, it all fell apart. Boston College went on a 14-3 run that put the game away. Eagles guard Ky Bowman got it started with two baskets for four of his game-high 14. Then Chris Herren and Jared Hamilton hit from 3-point range to push the lead. Boston College was 8 of 18 (44 percent) as a team from 3-point range.
Wilson-Frame finished with 12 to lead the Panthers, but shot an inefficient 4 of 17 overall and 4 of 15 from 3-point range. The Panthers attempted 37 3-pointers and shot 27 percent from outside the arc.
They didn’t fair much better inside, as they shot just 29 percent from the floor as a team. The Panthers hit just 1 of their last 16 field goals.
Up next, Pitt will return home to face No. 22 Virginia Tech.