PITTSBURGH — Here we go again.
That was the feeling in the first few moments of Pitt’s 79-53 victory over Binghamton on Friday night, a game in which the Panthers thoroughly dominated an out-classed opponent.
But it didn’t seem like in the opening minutes.
Pitt started the game by missing its first six shots, something has been an issue at times for the Panthers all season, and the Bearcats opened up a 5-0 lead.
But the shots started to fall. Trey McGowens hit a fast-break jumper. Then he hit from 3-point range twice in a row.
Then the rest of the team got in on the act. After starting the half 0 for 5, Pitt finished 15 of 29 (51.7%). The Panthers finished the night shooting 30-68, for 44.1%.
“We just started off a little slow,” sophomore wing Au’Diese Toney said. “We had to pick it up on defense and that kinda got us back in rhythm.”
Head coach Jeff Capel said that transitioning from defense to offense and getting easy baskets can help a team that’s struggling with it shooting confidence.
“It’s huge,” Capel said. “Obviosuly, we’ve struggled to score. That’s something that I know. I don’t need any metric or anything. I know it. Any time we can get easy baskets, that helps. One of the things when you get easy baskets, then you see the ball go through the basket and all of a sudden, a guy may feel a little more confident.”
The result of that hot shooting was a much-needed laugher over the Bearcats. Pitt had gone about a month playing almost exclusively competitive games. Instead, the walk-ons finished the game on Friday night.
What started as a potentially another frustrating night ended up being what could be a significant confidence-booster for the Panthers as they prepare to enter ACC play.