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Pitt Basketball

Pitt’s Comeback Effort Comes up Short, Panthers Fall to Monmouth 56-52

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PITTSBURGH — On Sunday night, Monmouth came into the Petersen Events Center and handed Pitt its seventh loss of the season, taking down the Panthers by a score of 56-52.

After an embarrassing first half of play, Pitt, led by Jamarius Burton, came all the way back to bring the deficit within three with just under 30 seconds remaining in the game.

However, with such little time left, the Panthers had to foul four straight times to force Monmouth into the bonus, which eventually took the clock all the way down to 9.6 seconds. Then, Monmouth’s George Papas, the team’s leading scorer, sank the Panthers with one converted free throw, bringing the lead to four and clinching the win.

Papas and the Hawks took advantage of a lousy start from the Panthers right away, leading by as much as 17 in the first frame in a dominant first half performance.

The Panthers came out of the gates as cold as can be, making just 2 of their first 18 field goals, and finishing the half with eight turnovers and only six made shots.

After switching into a zone defense in the second half, the Panthers held Monmouth to to just 1-for-14 shooting beyond the arch. That adjustment proved to be a key to their comeback, but the Panthers just could not pull it all together and gain a lead late.

Burton led the comeback with a strong 13-point second half performance. He finished with a season-high 15 on 7-for-12 shooting.

Pitt’s leading scorer on the year, John Hugley, finished with 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Hugley also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss.

Guard Femi Odukale came off the bench for the second-straight game, as walk-on Onye Ezeakudo started once again. Odukale finished with 14 points, while Ezeakudo did not score.

In addition to Papas, Monmouth (8-2) also received contributions from Shavar Reynolds and Marcus McClary, who finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

After a 1-1 week, Pitt will now have five days off prior to its next game against St. John’s.

The Johnnies, who took down Colgate 82-64 on Sunday night, come into the matchup with an 8-2 record. Julian Champagnie, the brother of former Pitt star Justin Champagnie, leads the Red Storm in scoring, averaging 20.3 points per game.

That game, as part of the Gotham Classic, will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with tip-off scheduled for noon. It will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and aired live on 93.7 The Fan.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
1 month ago

We lost to Monmouth. At home. FIRE CAPEL

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

I like Capel.. I want to see him do well here. But… what’s the plan? This is an embarrassing season and it isn’t looking any better for next year. Please give us a reason for optimism!

Dennis Wagner
1 month ago

John Hughley needs to drop 40 pounds so he can be a dominant player in the ACC. Right now he is just a circus act of the dominant player he was in high school. This kid has an unlimited ceiling but Capel let him gain 40 pounds during his suspension. This hurts his jumping ability (10 fewer rebounds per game), his quickness (10 more points per game). I feel sorry for him since Capel apparently wouldn’t demand he works to lose the weight, through diet and strength training. At 6’9″, 240 lbs., he has a great first step, consistent outside… Read more »

Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dennis Wagner

So it’s Capel’s fault that Hugley gained 40 lbs? You’ve got to be kidding. Hugley was suspended from all team activities. No games, no practice, no working out at the team facility. The only person responsible for Hugley’s weight gain is Hugley. Also the “circus act” is averaging 16 & 8 so there’s that.

Undeniable Truth
Undeniable Truth
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Kerrigan

Kerry, you got,to be kidding.. . . 16 and 8, ohhh like that’s something special. You must be a Pitt fan and understand how bad this team is. Hugley won’t even be around by the time the 2022-23 season begins. Capel may not be either. Pitt can barely score 50 points. . . against a mediocre team in a low rated conference. . . AT HOME. You may not get that Capel is a disaster but everyone else who knows something about sports sure does. Please put down the weed and clear your head. . . defending Capel is no… Read more »

Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
1 month ago

If averaging 16 points per game is nothing special then your braindead logic would also say that averaging 18 won’t get a player far correct? Except for Justin Champagnie (remember him?) First team All ACC & now playing in the NBA averaged 18 per game last year. The fact is that Hugley’s current stats make him the 9th leading scorer in the ACC with Banchero & Moore Jr. being the only Forwards ahead of him. But that’s nothing special right? And why wouldn’t Hugley be here next year? If 16 & 8 are nothing special where would he transfer to?… Read more »

Dennis Wagner
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Kerrigan

But the major question is with a loss of 40 pounds could he do better, such as get back down the floor on defense when the other team fast breaks, or stop slowing Pitt in it’s offensive transition as they wait for him to get back from defense. If you want to make comparisons watch the difference between him and Blair on hustle, rebounding position and defensive tenacity. Blair didn’t have Hugley talent but he also wasn’t overweight. Consider that near the end of the game Hugley is tugging on his shorts and after making 4 straight free throws in… Read more »

Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dennis Wagner

Answer: Hugley was suspended from all team activities & went home to Cleveland & took online courses. Again, if you think Capel is responsible for Hugleys weight gain, which you clearly stated in your original post, you’re out of your mind.

dennis wagner
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Kerrigan

Hugley has been on campus scrimmaging and working out since March 2021 or before. Yet he hasn’t lost a pound. This is not the same kid who scored 52 points in game as a senior in H.S. pull it up on youtube. I’m not going to argue level of competition I’m only pointing out court quickness, stamina, getting off his feet his quickness for a big man that is not evident at 280 lbs. At 240lbs. He could move more around the post, use his quick first step to avoid double teaming, and be more go the the boards on… Read more »

Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
1 month ago
Reply to  dennis wagner

I could give a rat’s rear about other players weight or what the best weight for Hugley to play at is. Hugley was not on campus scrimmaging in March. He was suspended & forced to leave the dorms in January so he went home to Cleveland & took online courses. Felony charges were withdrawn in May & he was reinstated to the team. Hugley is a 20 year old man. If he gained 40 lbs. while he was suspended & living in Cleveland that’s on him, not Capel. Only a complete lunatic would disagree.

dennis wagner
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Kerrigan

KK I see your form of argument is not based on logic on the topic, Hughley’s weight, but rather on demeaning me with language that is suppose to ridicule me (lunatic). That is not only childish but it doesn’t win a debate.
The lyric from Pink Floyd might be appropriate for me since I am 70 years old and may have not even recalled what the argument was, “The lunatic is in my head.”

Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
1 month ago
Reply to  dennis wagner

Well then, let me remind you. The “topic” is that you claimed Hugley’s weight gain was Capel’s fault. I pointed out in four different posts why your claim is ridiculous. In trying to defend your insane opinion, you rambled on about Hugley’s first step, on court quickness, stamina, etc. which have absolutely nothing to do with the “topic” of who is to blame for Hugleys weight gain. Once again, the “topic” is not whether Hugley would be a a better player at 240. The “topic” is your idiotic claim that Capel should be blaimed for Hugley’s weight gain. You also… Read more »

Duquesne WBB

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