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Pitt Squanders 16-Point Lead in Loss to Wake Forest

Pitt Squanders 16-Point Lead in Loss to Wake Forest

PITTSBURGH — Pitt squandered a 16-point first half lead and was unable to finish in crunch time as Wake Forest upset the Panthers, 69-65 at Petersen Events Center on Saturday afternoon.

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Pitt guard Trey McGowens’ layup attempt in the final seconds was blocked by Olivier Sarr, sealing the victory for the Demon Deacons.

Pitt rocketed out to a 22-8 lead in the game’s first eight minutes, only to see it completely evaporate by the start of the second half.

The Panthers shot 39% on the afternoon, but it came in wild swings, as Pitt used a hot streak to build its early lead but then went ice cold as Wake Forest charged back.

They went cold once again late in the game, as Pitt finished the game by missing its final five shots and six of its last seven. McGowens had two looks at the rim and Xavier Johnson had one in the final minute, but neither could come through with a bucket.

Junior guard Ryan Murphy led the Panthers with 18 points. He was 7 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 6 from 3-point range. He was joined by McGowens (12 points), Justin Champagnie (11 points) and Johnson (11 points) in double figures for the Panthers.

Champagnie also tied Eric Hamilton for the team with eight rebounds. He and Murphy each played over 39 minutes as the Panthers dealt with the loss of Au’Diese Toney, who missed the game with an elbow injury suffered in practice.

UP NEXT

Pitt, now 10-4 and 1-2 in ACC play, will head on the road for two games, visiting North Carolina on Jan. 8 and Miami on Jan. 12.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Terrence Otoole
Terrence Otoole
9 months ago

Capel has got to do something about trey and x playing way out of control ,he needs to be in charge and bench there asses it really cost them this game and murphy is a good shooter but a big liability on the defensive end, missed toney today for sure

Eddie Futch
Eddie Futch
9 months ago

As a life long fan I realize that neither major sports oprogram will ever be relevant again. It really sucks. Today proved AGAIN that it will be an impossible rebuild, especially in that conference where the Tobacco Road Boys will homer you on your home court too.

Tim Fehl
Tim Fehl
9 months ago

Discouraging loss for sure. Perhaps most discouraging is realizing this team is exactly the same as last years team. Losing the exact same way. Even more so, there has been zero player development for Xavier and Trey. If anything they have regressed. Love the energy of coach Capel but if he can’t grow those guys in a hurry the season is going to be exactly like last year.

Eddie Futch
Eddie Futch
9 months ago
Reply to  Tim Fehl

Tim Fehl. Bingo! The players have not gotten better. Hoping that Brown would become a force underneath and McGowens and Johnson become all ACC players. Neither has happened. Champagnie and Murphy have made them slightly better, but not much. They replaced Wilson Frame and Ndir.

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson
9 months ago

This is going to be a long season. Until Trey and X realize they are not the only options, Pitt will continue to struggle. I hope the Bigs he recruited next year are good enough to keep Brown on the bench. 3 years and no significant change in his game. You will never win in the ACC from the outside consistently nor do we have the outside shooting to compete. As good as X and Trey are, they are inconsistent and out of control much of the game.They must at least try to throw the ball inside to get the… Read more »

Smljf
Smljf
9 months ago

This is on Capel. He obviously cant keep those two under control and disciplined. Take away some of their offensive freedom. Run some offensive sets that get good shots – its clear that the high pick and roll needs put to bed – it creates nothing. To not involve Murphy at all in final few possessions is on Capel. His game-day coaching is extremely underwhelming.

Djaff
Djaff
9 months ago
Reply to  Smljf

I agree. Very poor coaching and McGowan shouldn’t be on the floor. He’s an extremely erratic player who is as apt to hurt you as help you. He has not matured into a true d-1 player. Murphy is the only guy who knows how to play in a team scheme. Champagne seems to have a problem with him from the looks of their chemistry on the floor. Just all around crappy.

Section 122
Section 122
9 months ago

Watching them blow that lead made me feel like I was watching the 2015 Armed Services Bowl.

Pat Adonizio
Pat Adonizio
9 months ago

WE get what we deserve! WE crucified Stallings for poor coaching, no ACC talent, leaving the cupboard bare yet Carr and Stewart are prime, Stephenson will be solid, W-F was ok, etc. Stallings was building a foundation, regretfully he had no future the day he signed his contract. I hear us say we have a young team, the cupboard was bare, when in reality the pieces for a solid base were in place; in truth, Stallings was left with a sub-D! roster, and had he been able to keep Johnson, may have saved his job.

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