PITTSBURGH — Following Pitt’s 69-67 victory over Boston College, head coach Jeff Capel credited the play of John Hugley and Jamarius Burton, who paced the Panthers with 32 and 14 points, as key in the victory. Hugley set a career high in points, along with ten drawn fouls and 13 rebounds.
“John was tremendous all game. 37 minutes, probably a little bit too much, but we had to ride him,” Capel said. “He made big plays, stepped up and made free throws.”
Hugley has starred for the Panthers recently, but Capel said he didn’t think his performance is anything new.
“He’s playing at a very, very high level,” Capel said. “I think for the most part all year he has.”
Jamarius Burton’s Impact
Burton played all 40 minutes and recorded just two personal fouls. Capel credited the senior transfer’s decision making and athleticism for his role in the Panthers victory.
“If he gets fouled, we feel very confident in him making free throws. He’s strong, and so he can get to spots. He can be a good decision maker in those situations,” Capel said. “When you’re in tight situations, that’s what you want.”
Eagles Foul Trouble
Three Boston College players fouled out during the game, which had a big impact down the stretch. Big men James Karnik and Quinten Post were limited to just 14 and ten minutes, respectively, before being disqualified.
Hugley attempted 20 free throws: Jamarius Burton attempted six. Forcing the Eagles impact players into fouls and making them pay on the scoreboard was the difference in the two point victory.
“Because of John, we were able to draw a lot of fouls,” Capel said. ““JB took two charges, one late. That was huge.”
Experience in Close Games
The Panthers last five losses came by a total of ten points. Capel said their mentality made the difference in this game.
“I just saw a group that was focused on right now,” Capel said. “We kept fighting throughout, [even though] we didn’t get off to a great start.”
William Jeffress Development
Sophomore forward William Jeffress, a highly touted four-star recruit, has struggled to begin his career. Capel said he saw a difference from him in this game and hopes he can build off of it going forward.
“Hopefully this gives him confidence. We have confidence in him,” Capel said. “I thought he played really strong… there in the second half, and his moves were with conviction.”