ATLANTA — As they’ve done all season, a couple of long stretches without making a shot from the floor doomed Pitt on Wednesday night against Georgia Tech.
The Panthers went 7:54 without a made field goal in a first half stretch that allowed Georgia Tech to build its lead up to as many as 18 points, and then had a stretch of 6:12 in the second half without a bucket after they cut the deficit to four.
Tech outscored Pitt by 19 during these two runs, and that was the difference in an 73-57 victory for the Yellow Jackets on senior night at McCamish Pavilion.
Pitt never led in the game, turning the ball over four times in the early going as the Yellow Jackets built a quick 7-0 lead.
It didn’t get much better from there for Jeff Capel’s team as Jose Alvarado took over the game. The Tech guard yielded his spot in the starting lineup to senior Shembari Phillips, but was back in the game after just 70 seconds and scored eight quick points on the Panthers. Alvarado led all scorers for the game with 23 points and added nine rebounds.
The lead reached as many as 18 when Georgia Tech took a 30-12 advantage with 3:41 remaining in the first half. Pitt closed the half on a 9-0 run behind three three-pointers in the final 3:24, and they cut the score to 34-30 in the opening minutes of the second half.
But that was as close as they came, as the shooting dried up again and Georgia Tech slowly seized control. Three more Tech players joined Alvarado in double figures as Michael Devoe, Jordan Usher and Evan Cole combined for 33 points.
The young Panthers ran out of gas down the stretch with a short rotation that was depleted by Xavier Johnson fouling out, and never made a push in the closing minutes. The loss ended Pitt’s regular season with a 15-16 overall record and a 6-14 clip in ACC play.
It also meant the Panthers will likely take the court next Tuesday on the opening day of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, with the opponent to be determined based on action in the final weekend of ACC play.