PITTSBURGH — On Monday night, Pitt took down a feisty Florida Gulf Coast squad by a score of 86-74 to pick up its third win of the season.
The Panthers looked to stars Bub Carrington, Blake Hinson, and Ishmael Leggett tonight in the win, as Carrington led the way with 19 points and seven assists, Hinson followed with 18 points, and Leggett added 17 and seven rebounds.
After the game, Florida Gulf Coast head coach Pat Chambers, formerly the head coach at Penn State, offered some high praise for Pitt’s leaders.
“Jeff’s got a good team,” Chambers said. “Hinson can really shoot, he hit some timely ones. Even though he was three of ten, hit some timely ones. Carrington, I watched him on film and I knew about him in high school, big-time player, big-time player. We tried a bunch of different coverages on him, he still had 19 and seven. So that’s the difference right there.”
“Ishmael, I watched him at Rhode Island,” Chambers continued. “I mean, he’s a dog. That’s the greatest compliment you can give anybody. I mean, he’s a fierce competitor, he knows who he is. So, good team. Really good team.”
Leggett hit perhaps the biggest shot of the game for the Panthers, driving to the right side as Pitt led by six with three minutes to go. With the shot clock winding down on his drive, he spun around and hit a tough two-pointer in the face of his opponent, extending Pitt’s lead to eight.
In addition to those three players mentioned by Chambers, Pitt also received solid offensive production from Jaland Lowe (12 points) and Zack Austin (7 points). Will Jeffress played 21 minutes off the bench, hitting his lone field-goal try and grabbing five rebounds in a big performance for the Panthers.
“I recruited Will Jeffress,” Chambers said. “He looks terrific. He’s put on some weight, he’s strong. Knows his role. All-star in his role. Did a really nice job. But so did Ishmael. Those guys did a nice job on the perimeter players. Chase Johnston barely had any space, Franco had a big game last game and he was in foul trouble, barely had any space. So their guards did a really good job speeding us up. Good team”
To close out his thoughts on Pitt, Chambers commented on Lowe’s performance. The freshman scored a career-high 12 points on Monday night.
“He was tremendous,” Chambers said about the Houston native. “I think him and Barno, I think probably going into the game they were two non-shooters, I’ll say. And then they both came out on fire. Good for them, they’re putting the work in in the gym, both of them, and it’s good to see. He’s a lefty. He got downhill a couple of times, made some timely layups against us, because you’re so worried about Hinson and Carrington. He’s got great feel for the game to get downhill and get his team a bucket.”
With the loss, FGCU fell to 1-2 on the season with losses to Indiana and Pitt. The Panthers moved on to 3-0 on the season, and will take on Jacksonville on Friday night once again at 7 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.
“I felt like we deserved to be on that floor,” Chambers said. “Our guys really competed. We didn’t hang our heads. We kept going out. They go up ten, they go up 11, we’d come back and get it to single digits. I’m proud of the way we competed.”