Coming off of another gut-punching loss on the road against Louisville, the Pitt Panthers return to the Pete hosting Boston College.
Pitt is facing a two-game losing streak and is 3-7 in its last 10 games. The Panthers are 5-6 at home this season.
Here are five things to know ahead of Pitt’s (5-7, 0-3) fourth ACC game against the Boston College Eagles (6-6, 1-1).
Horton Starts Hot
The return of Ithiel Horton sparked an instant impact for the Panthers against Louisville. Returning from suspension after all charges against him were dropped, Horton dropped 13 points off the bench including 3-5 from behind the arc.
Horton’s return made an immediate change for the Panthers backcourt, providing a dependable three-point shooter on a team lacking sharpshooters. He played 28 minutes Wednesday after missing the first 13 games. Jamarius Burton scored 21 points as the duo ignited the Panthers and controlled the lead at points.
Pitt receives another boost from Horton’s return and likely will play his way into the starting lineup sooner than later. Jeff Capel needs all hands on deck for Pitt to win its first ACC game and stack victories together. New details are beginning to emerge, though, that Horton could face another setback.
Written in the Blueprint
Pitt has a defined blueprint for how to win games during the 2021-22 season, rebound, defend, and don’t turn the ball over. The Panthers did all of those good enough to win against the Cardinals, tying in multiple statistical categories. Louisville made one extra field goal than Pitt providing the difference in the outcome.
The Panthers were 12.5 point underdogs at the KFC Yum! Center where very few people gave them a chance to win. Pitt feeds off of the underdog mentality and embraces the toughness it takes to fight harder for victories.
The Blue and Gold won’t be facing the same circumstances Saturday against BC as Pitt is favored to pull out a victory. Despite the difference, the blueprint stays the same against a team similar in appeal to the Panthers. The game will probably, like always, come down to the wire giving Pitt another great chance to make the final shot.
Souring with the Eagles
Boston College has lost three-straight games and is 4-6 in their last 10. The Eagles crushed Notre Dame at home to start December but didn’t play their next ACC game until January 2. BC was routed by North Carolina at home after a matchup against Wake Forest was cancelled and Florida State postponed.
The Eagles are very similar to Pitt in their limitations on the floor. They only shoot near 43% from the floor but over 34% from three and 70% at the line, both better marks than the Panthers. Boston College is best at taking care of the ball, turning it over more than 11 times a game, tied for 56th in the country.
Like a broken record, rebounding and clutch shot making will determine the final outcome. Pitt’s biggest team strength, John Hugley and others will need a joint effort to out-battle a decent Eagles squad.
Boston College does not have a major contributor on their roster stuffing the stat sheet, but have three players scoring in double digits. DeMarr Langford (11.8), Makai Ashton-Langford (11.5), and Jaeden Zackery (10.8) are all playmaking guards for BC, looking to improve over .500.
Pitt is favored by a considerable 3 points at home in Saturday morning’s latest odds.
Pitt ended last season 11-10-1 against the spread. The Panthers have covered 11 times in 14 opportunities and have been especially solid the past 6-8 games.
The over/under for the matchup against Boston College is set at 127 points and Pitt is -160 on the moneyline.
In their last seven games Boston College is only 2-5 against the spread.
Broadcast, Radio Info
The BC and Pitt matchup will air on the ACC Network Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Mike Monaco and Randolph Childress have the call.
The game can also be heard live on sports radio 93.7 The Fan.
Pitt hits the road once again after Saturday’s game facing the Syracuse Orange Tuesday at 7 p.m.