On Saturday afternoon, Pitt traveled down to Atlanta and earned its fifth ACC victory behind an explosive performance from Nike Sibande, who scored a season-high 21 points in the 71-60 win.
After Pitt went more than four minutes without a field goal late in the game, Sibande snapped the cold streak with an elusive, acrobatic, and-one layup to ignite the Pitt bench and regain the momentum. Late buckets from Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton, paired with strong free-throw shooting from the Panthers, kept Pitt’s lead comfortable and put away the Jackets.
With the win, Pitt (12-6, 5-2 ACC) snapped a two-game conference losing skid.
Sibande opened the game with a 14-point first-half, headlined by three three pointers and some creative one-on-one buckets. The Indianapolis native then added seven in the second half, finishing with a season high 21 points in the win for Pitt to go along with his six rebounds.
In addition, Burton added 19 points for Pitt, going 6 for 13 from the field and 7 for 7 from the free-throw line.
Blake Hinson and Cummings contributed with 13 and 11 points, respectively, as Pitt comfortably took down the Jackets and got back on track.
Pitt survived Georgia Tech’s strong effort on the boards, which was headlined by a 40-35 rebounding advantage and 14 offensive rebounds from the Jackets.
For Georgia Tech, Deivon Smith (15 points) and Deebo Coleman (13 points) were the only players to score in double figures.
Before the game, Panthers forward John Hugley announced that he will not play the rest of the season and pursue a redshirt to “fully invest in healing mentally as well as physically.”
Pitt will stay on the road for its next game, when it takes on Louisville on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the KFC Yum! Center. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. on ACC Network.