PITTSBURGH — Pitt played one of their best games of the season, defeating No. 25 North Carolina, 76-74, at the Petersen Events Center Friday.
The Panthers (10-4 overall, 3-0 ACC) stay perfect in conference play and are 3-0 for the first time since 2015-16, the last season that Jamie Dixon served as head coach. The win against the Tar Heels (9-5 overall, 1-2 ACC) is the fourth in the past five matchups for the Panthers.
North Carolina started out the game on an 11-3 run that forced Pitt to take a timeout. North Carolina would hold various leads throughout the first half of 19-10 and 28-20, but Pitt battled back.
The Panthers went on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 30 with 3:37 left in the first half. The Tar Heels finished the first half with a 40-34 advantage.
Pitt shot a modest 13-for-31 from the field, but shot poorly from 3-point range, 2-for-13. UNC shot 16-for-31 from the floor and a solid 6-for-13 from 3-point range. Pitt did force eight UNC turnovers and made six of their seven free throw attempts.
The Tar Heels continued to lead throughout much of the early parts of the second half, with a 55-46 lead with just under 12 minutes left.
The Panthers then responded with a 10-3 run to tie the game up at 58 with 6:37 remaining in the second half.
Both teams fought back-and-forth, but neither could pull away. Pitt junior forward Blake Hinson made a 3-pointer to put Pitt up with 1:30 left.
After a UNC turnover, Hinson made it to the foul line after a foul underneath the basket. He made both foul shots to put Pitt up 72-67 with 30 seconds left.
Hinson hit two more foul shots and redshirt senior guard Nike Sibande made a layup to give the Panthers a 76-69 lead.
The Tar Heels cut the lead down to two points after a 3-pointer and basket underneath after a Panthers turnover, but the Panthers held on for the victory.
Pitt @Pitt_MBB takes down No. 25 UNC 76-74 to stay undefeated in ACC Play at 3-0.
This is the first time they’ve done this since 2015-16 when Jamie Dixon was head coach. pic.twitter.com/CxIueqxn6f
— Dominic Campbell (@DOMISMONEY) December 30, 2022
Pitt graduate guard Jamarius Burton played the game of his life, scoring a team-high and career-high 31 points on 14-for-17 shooting from the field. The 31-point performance from Burton is the most for a Pitt player ever against North Carolina.
Pitt stays at home next time out, as they take on Virginia on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 9 p.m.