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Pitt Football

Pitt Holds off North Carolina to Win Third Straight

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Pitt's Ithiel Horton fires a three-pointer against UNC on Feb. 16, 2022 in Chapel Hill. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Pitt saw its 21-point second half lead diminish, but held off a comeback from the North Carolina Tar Heels to win its third straight game.

Five Panthers scored in double digits Wednesday night as Pitt beat UNC 76-67 in the Dean Smith Center in front of a crowd made up of mostly disappointed Carolina fans.

With the victory, Pitt (11-16; 6-10 ACC) now has its longest winning streak of the season. Pitt last won three straight ACC games in January 2021. Pitt also now has six ACC wins on the season, which ties the Panthers’ high in a single season under Capel.

Leading the Panthers was Ithiel Horton, who scored 19 points, shooting an impressive 5 of 5 from three-point range. Horton also added five rebounds.

Additionally for the Panthers, John Hugley had 18 points, Jamarius Burton tallied 14 points and seven rebounds, and Mouhamadou Gueye notched 11 points and two blocks, and Femi Odukale had 10 points along with a season-best nine assists.

After trailing 12-8 early, Pitt put UNC on its heels, breaking off a 21-2 run over about five minutes midway through the first half. The stretch gave Pitt 29-14 lead, and was powered by some sharp shooting from Horton, who knocked down three straight shots from behind the arc. Horton’s first came from the top of the key with a hand in his face, his second in the left corner via an assist from Femi Odukale, and his third was sank in transition.

After UNC called a timeout after Horton’s third three-pointer, Pitt kept draining shots from outside. Out of the timeout, Gueye drained two deep shots, both on assists from Odukale. By halftime, the Panthers led by 17 points. In the second half, Pitt grew its lead to as many as 21 points.

As a team, Pitt finished the game shooting 58.8% from three-point land, its best mark of the season.

North Carolina struggled shooting for most of the game. The Tar Heels finished with a 41.4% shooting mark from the floor and 26.9% from three-point range.

UNC went on runs of 12-4 and 10-2 late in the second half, but Pitt was able to hold the Heels off. UNC outscored Pitt 44-36 in the second half, but couldn’t quite tie the game up, cutting the deficit to only six points.

Caleb Love led North Carolina with 19 points. Brady Manek had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

This is the only regular season meeting between the Tar Heels and Panthers this year. UNC still leads the all-time series 15-6, but Pitt is 3-2 against UNC under Capel.

Pitt will aim for its fourth straight victory on Saturday at home when it hosts Georgia Tech.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago

Another outstanding coaching performance from Capel. Second half roster management with his 3 best players in foul trouble was flawless & his game plan to neutralize Bacot was a thing of beauty (7 points, 8 rebounds)

Send it in !
Send it in !
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Nice….come on here afterwards and crow about a win. Where were YOU for the 16 losses ? Clown

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

It’s called basketball insight & knowledge, something you clearly know nothing about. I guess that’s why you feel the need to resort to childish name calling. I thought that PSN had a clear policy against personal insults but I guess for some reason that only applies to certain people.

Send it in !
Send it in !
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

If they had a policy, they would keep off demented trolls like you. Insight & knowledge….is something you clearly have nothing of.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

“clearly have nothing of”? You should be careful with those demented accusations when you’re throwing around nonsensical phrases.

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
3 months ago

Good to see Hugley outplay Bacot. Why don’t the refs ever call a foul on Bacot when he hedges out on a screen? He always moves into the path of the guarding man. He also likes to push people out of the
way. He just wasn’t man enough to move Hugley.

Last edited 3 months ago by Clark Martineau
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