CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Pitt and Miami tipped off at 4 p.m. at Watsco Center on the campus of the University of Miami on Sunday afternoon.
Someone should have told the Panthers.
Miami opened the game by scoring 16 consecutive points and went on to win, 66-58.
But after no-showing the first seven minutes, Pitt didn’t make it easy on the Canes. Pitt used a pair of big comebacks to tighten the game late, but couldn’t come closer than four points in the end.
Down 16-0 early, the Panthers rattled off an 18-2 run of their own to tie the game before the end of the first half.
Miami once again built a large lead, with Kameron McGusty leading the Hurricanes with 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting. Guard Chris Lykes had 12 points on 5 of 7. But Lykes was on the bench in foul trouble when Pitt went on its big first-half run.
After Miami built a 20-point lead in the second half, Lykes collected his fourth foul and Pitt once again went on a run.
Led by sophomore guard Trey McGowens, who finished with a team-high 18 points, the Panthers charged back once again, closing all the way to within four points. Lykes fouled out with 8:09 to play.
Pitt’s second half comeback mostly happened without starting point guard Xavier Johnson on the floor. He had a season-low-tying four points in 24 minutes. Johnson had a team-high four turnovers. McGowens and Ryan Murphy, who had nine points on 4 of 12, played up top for Pitt.
Junior forward Terrell Brown was also a big contributor to the second-half run. He had 10 points, six of which were in the second half.
On the whole, the Pitt offense struggled with shot selection and shot making against an aggressive and frequently adjusting Miami defense. Pitt shot 35.9% on the night.