CLEMSON, S.C. —- The Pitt Panthers were never in the game at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Facing a team with an identical conference record and an opportunity to score its first road win of the season, Pitt started flat and never really recovered in a 75-48 loss at Clemson. It was Pitt’s lowest scoring output since a 72-49 home loss against Syracuse on Feb. 26, 2020.
The Panthers committed 20 turnovers and only made 16 shots from the floor, all while allowing the Tigers to pick up 19 assists on 22 made field goals at the other end.
John Hugley, Jamarius Burton and Femi Odukale shouldered most of the scoring burden for Pitt with 15, 10 and 10 points respectively on a combined 11 of 29 shooting, but generating offense from anywhere else was a recurring issue. The rest of the team was just 5 of 19 from the floor, and no other Panther outside of the leading trio scored more than three points for the game
Pitt had a stretch of over nine minutes from the 11:28 mark of the first half to the 2:27 mark where it only hit two shots from the floor, and then another extended drought of nearly nine minutes from 16:42 to 7:45 of the second half without a single made field goal.
Clemson jumped out to an early 12-5 lead by the first media timeout thanks to seven points from leading scorer PJ Hall, immediately forcing the visitors to play catch-up. It was a position the Panthers found themselves in all day in a game they never led. Clemson had little trouble maneuvering inside on offense and forced Jeff Capel’s team into a flurry of bad passes and offensive mistakes.
A slight opening appeared when Hugley appeared to hit a game-tying shot from three-point range midway through the first half, but instant replay said the ball was still in his hands when the shot clock expired. That took the game from 22-22 to 22-19 Clemson, and the Tigers immediately took the momentum and went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to double-digits.
The deficit briefly closed to six early in the second half when Pitt came out of halftime with a sharper offense that led to four made shots on its first six possessions, but that’s where the scoring drought took over. The Panthers fell into a stretch where they shot just 1 of 16 from the floor as a team, allowing the lead to balloon as high as 32 points.
Jeff Capel picked up a technical foul late in the second half for arguing a foul call underneath the Pitt basket with the game getting away from his team, and Hugley fouled out on an afternoon where foul trouble was on the long list of issues for the Panthers. Pitt committed 20 fouls to just 14 fo Clemson, allowing the Tigers to score 19 points from the charity stripe.
Four Clemson players scored in double figures, led by Al-Amir Dawes with 19 points. Hall scored 16 points, Chase Hunter was an efficient 4 of 5 shooting for 13 points and David Collins added seven rebounds to his 10 points.
Both teams will be back in action again on Tuesday night, with Pitt hosting Syracuse and Clemson traveling to Duke.