PITTSBURGH — Pitt did a pretty good job shutting down seven of the eight Virginia Tech Hokies that played against the Panthers on Saturday at Petersen Events Center.
The eighth, 6-foot-10 forward Kerry Blackshear, Jr., posed a problem.
Blackshear scored 29 points on 8 of 9 shooting to lead the No. 22 Hokies past Pitt, 70-64.
He also added nine rebounds as the Panthers seemed to be without an answer for the redshirt junior forward.
Pitt started junior forward Kene Chukwuka instead of Terrell Brown at the five spot to match him up against Blackshear, and it didn’t go well. Brown played just seven minutes off the bench and was in foul trouble for much of the game. Pitt also played a smaller lineup, with Malik Ellison and Au’Diese Toney playing against the Virginia Tech big men.
The Hokies took a five-point lead into the half, and Pitt generally kept paced throughout the second half, but were unable to come up with a big basket when they needed one. The Panthers shot 6 of 22 (27.3 percent) from 3-point range. The Hokies, meanwhile, had plenty of daggers, hitting 10 of 21 (47.6 percent) from long range.
Virginia Tech guard Ahmed Hill chipped in with 14 points on 4 of 11 shooting, but the rest of the Hokies combined for just 23 points.
Freshman guard Xavier Johnson led Pitt with 16 points. He finished 4 of 7 from the floor and 2 of 3 from 3-point range after scoring just two points in the first half. Senior Sidy N’Dir had 12 points but was just 2 of 9 from the floor. He also dished out three assists and collected a team-high four rebounds, as Pitt was out-rebounded, 27-24 overall.
Up next, Pitt will visit Georgia Tech on Wednesday, Feb. 20. That game has a 9 p.m. tipoff and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.