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Five Takeaways: Federiko Dominated His Way in Win Over Boston College

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PITTSBURGH — Federiko Federiko dominated on Tuesday night.

Now, Federiko isn’t necessarily going to dominate like you’d think a traditional big will. However, he dominated his way.

While he isn’t going to back you down and overpower you one-on-one offensively in the paint (which we saw on Pitt’s first possession — a contested air-ball in traffic from the Finnish big), he is going to outrun you in transition, clean up the glass, and protect the rim on defense.

“Number one, we haven’t had to double the post as much, so we’re not in rotations as much, because he has done a pretty good job there,” Jeff Capel said about Federiko’s defense. “He does a really good job in ball screen defense. He’s able to get out and show hard or if we go to drop, which we don’t do much. But he also can clean some things up. If guys maybe get beat, he’s able to be there and lock shots, he had three blocks tonight. He’s alert, he’s active, he gives great energy, and it’s a big time thing for us.”

Federiko’s defensive impact was felt tremendously, as he limited Boston College’s star forward Quinten Post to just seven points and five rebounds on the night. Post also fouled out of the game, and turned the ball over four times. Federiko played stout defense on Post all night long and finished his night with seven rebounds, three blocks, and ten points of his own on offense.

NELLY CUMMINGS TIES SEASON-HIGH WITH EIGHT ASSISTS

Pitt’s point guard distributed the ball all night to his teammates, dishing out six assists in the first half and two more in the second.

He kicked off his night full of sharing with a hot start, dropping a dime to Federiko Federiko for the game’s first bucket, and shortly after assisting on Greg Elliott’s first three pointer of the game.

Those first two assists are prime examples of Cummings’ skill set. Whether he is looking to feed his big man rolling off a screen or in transition, or whether he is looking to his sharpshooters around the outside, he is always looking to find the open man.

Not to mention, Cummings scored 11 points of his own on 5-for-9 shooting, including some key buckets when his team was coming out of the gates slowly. Cummings showed off his floater game, his outside shooting ability (1-1 on 3’s), and his passing ability all in one performance that led to a Pitt victory.

“It makes my job very, very easy,” Hinson said about Cummings’ skill set. It gets me to focus on what my job is. Great luxury to have, this man right here.”

PANTHERS WITHSTAND AGGRESSIVE START BY BC

While Pitt came out a bit slow in the first half, Boston College showed off an intensity and aggressiveness that seemed to catch Pitt off guard early on. The Eagles, who had been coming off of a recent 30-point loss to NC State, came out firing and kept this game close for the first 24 minutes or so.

“We told them that they were going to come in, and I know that Coach, and I know what he’s trying to build there,” Capel said about Boston College. “Getting beat like that, I knew they were going to be revved up, which they were to start the game.”

The Eagles built a 16-10 lead early on in a then-quiet Petersen Events Center, hitting four of their first eight three-point attempts in an unusual outside outburst. In the end, Boston College tied a season-high for team threes made with nine (9-26 3FG). However, once Pitt caught up to speed, it didn’t take long for the Panthers to do what they have done best all year long: come out with the win.

“The thing we’ve talked about all year — it may be boring, it’s not to us — is just trying to win one game at a time,” Capel continued. “We talked about just trying to go 1-and-0, and just to focus on what was right in front of us, and today that was Boston College.”

Once Pitt turned things around, the intensity rose on the court, in the huddles, and on the bench. For example, as soon as Greg Elliott picked up a technical foul, the Panthers’ huddle quickly embraced him and smiled, turning it into a positive, feisty energy that has led to wins all year long. The Panthers built on that moment while Boston College folded over, and Pitt came out with the win, 77-58.

LIMITING POST: BC’S BEST

In nine starts this season, Boston College 7-foot forward Quinten Post has averaged more than 16 points and six rebounds per game. However, on Tuesday night, Pitt held him to just seven points and five boards.

“I thought we did an outstanding job on him,” Capel said about Post. “My biggest concern was that he is a really good player, and he has the ability to impact the game in a lot of different ways. Obviously, he can score with his back to the basket with either hand. He’s very skilled down there. Because he can do that, he’s able to draw fouls. He’s an outstanding free-throw shooter. He’s able to stretch the floor, go out to three. So I was concerned about that with us getting in foul trouble and just his talent. I thought we did an outstanding job on him.”

Post had scored in double figures all but once this year: his first game of the season (eight points). The Panthers, led by Federiko inside, held him to a season-low seven points on just 2-for-9 shooting. Post also fouled out for just the third time this year, and turned the ball over four times for the third time this year as well.

STREAK CONTINUES AS MARCH NEARS

Pitt has now won six games in a row and has hit the 12-win mark for the first time ever in ACC play.

The Panthers sit at 19-7 on the year (12-3 ACC) and hold a 12-3 home record, a 7-2 road record, and an impressive 5-2 record against Quad 1 opponents. For a team looking to make its first NCAA Tournament since 2016, stacking six wins — and potentially counting — in a row during the months of January and February is going to be key not only to the team’s resume come March but also the team’s chemistry as the grind rolls along.

Pitt’s next game comes on Saturday, when it will take on Virginia Tech (15-10, 5-9 ACC) down in Blacksburg, Virginia at 5 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Pittband
Pittband
1 year ago

Post was double teamed frequently. He did not respond in a positive manner. Twice he committed technical fouls which led to his dismissal. Great team defense. BC focused on Burton which led to open looks all around. Great team offense. Adversity early led to an attitude change which should benefit the team going forward. Next: VT will be tough at home.

TMG
TMG
1 year ago

This team is hungry and got a chip on their shoulders. All of them, Burton is a beast

mike
mike
1 year ago
Reply to  TMG

Thank you!!! We think alike.

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