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Pitt Basketball

Pitt Storms Back to Defeat No. 11 Virginia for Fifth-Straight Win, 68-65

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PITTSBURGH — As cheers of “Let’s Go Pitt” rang out in the Petersen Events Center late Tuesday night, Pitt sealed its fifth-straight victory, this time coming in comeback fashion over No. 11 Virginia, 68-65.

Pitt’s veterans Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton and Nike Sibande hit all six of their free-throw attempts in the final minute to clinch the victory and a 4-0 start for the Panthers in the ACC.

Trailing by 12 with 16 minutes to go, Pitt’s hopes at that fifth-straight win seemed doomed.

Tony Bennett’s pack line defense suffocated the Panthers throughout the entire first half. Virginia was taking care of the ball and hitting its shots. Pitt was not. The ‘Hoos were playing peak Virginia basketball, and Pitt could not escape.

However, kickstarted by a Sibande three pointer, the Panthers exploded for a 14-0 run to take the lead. Blake Hinson, Burton, Cummings, and Federiko Federiko all converted layups in the run. Cummings finished a physical ten-foot jumper in the lane. After Hinson hit a fadeaway three pointer in the corner, the Panthers, for the first time since the opening tip, had gained the momentum in front of a raucous Petersen Events Center.

Down the stretch, Pitt’s guards — led by the team’s assist leader Cummings — distributed the ball down low to Federiko, who cleaned up with three buckets in the final minutes to put away the ranked Cavaliers.

Hinson finished with 16 points to lead the team, while Sibande added 16 off the bench, including the two loudest points of his season on a breakaway slam. Burton added 15 points in the win. Cummings finished with a team-high eight assists in the victory.

Virginia looked to guard Kihei Clark for offensive production, as the veteran posted an impressive 17-point, eight-assist stat line. Armaan Franklin, Reece Beekman, and Kadin Shedrick also scored in double digits for the ‘Hoos.

With the win, Pitt snaps an eight-game losing streak to Virginia and extends its current overall winning streak to five. Pitt has won ten of its last 11, and now sits at 11-4 (4-0 ACC) on the season.

Pitt now moves on to take on Clemson on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. once again at the Petersen Events Center. That matchup will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on 93.7 the Fan.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Michael
Michael
25 days ago

My friend asked me “are we back?”. I’m not sure what the definition of “back” is. Battling for a 1 seed? Probably not yet. The team that no one wants to play and can compete for an ACC title? I think so! The season is still early… but man, I love watching this team play!

Pitt Fan Illinois
Pitt Fan Illinois
25 days ago

Outstanding play. Federiko is becoming a real asset. Many contributed. Teamwork was good. Will be required to keep winning. Stay healthy….🤞🤞

Great win

Burton Tee
Burton Tee
25 days ago

While I am disappointed with the continued legal problems that some of Capel’s players have brought to this team, I did enjoy the game.

Very good win that showed this team is has become more disciplined and matured.

H2P.

Pittband
Pittband
24 days ago

Curtis Aiken said it clearly on the postgame show “Pitt looked more like Virginia than Virginia did. That’s a helluva a compliment. Return to the comments for the North Florida game when I said this was a real team.
Hell to Pitt

TJ
TJ
24 days ago

just watched the replay .. what a game. the key was figuring out how to beat UVAs pressure on the outside and find the open man. excellent job men. H2P!

Pitt guy
Pitt guy
24 days ago

Where’s RaDICK ? 4~0 ROB !

mike embree
mike embree
24 days ago

Can someone tell me what is the deal with John Hugley IV. I see him on the bench in street clothes. It seems to me that we don’t know the complete story here. He was their leading rebounder and scorer last season. The way this team is playing and winning, this is very impressive. Is there a timetable for Hugley’s return. Then if he does return, how does Capel work him into the rotation without disrupting this great chemistry Pitt has right now?

Benedum 12th Floor
Benedum 12th Floor
24 days ago
Reply to  mike embree

From what I heard from someone who saw his IG live last night (Tuesday), he said he will return Saturday.. take that with a grain of salt.

Benedum 12th Floor
Benedum 12th Floor
24 days ago
Reply to  mike embree

I’m not too worried about the chemistry. I’d much rather have Hugley coming off the bench to give Fede a rest than one of the twins. They are young and get bodied around too much

mike
mike
24 days ago

I agree. I noticed that last night.

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