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Pitt Earns 20 Wins for Second-Straight Year: ‘That’s Pretty Cool, But I Want More’



Jeff Capel watches during Pitt's ACC Tournament game vs. Georgia Tech in Greensboro, N.C. on March 8, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

PITTSBURGH — Pitt believes that its season is far from over, but with Tuesday night’s win over Florida State at the Petersen Events Center, Jeff Capel’s program accomplished a milestone that hasn’t been done in years.

The last time that Pitt basketball had won 20 games in back-to-back seasons was from 2012-14, when the Panthers went a combined 50-19 in a dominant stretch, making it to at least the NCAA Tournament second round in each year. Now, the program’s cold streak has been snapped.

Pitt won its 20th game of the season on Tuesday night, advancing to 20-10 on the year with one game remaining on the regular season slate and at the very least, another game in the ACC Tournament still ahead. The Panthers earned the win behind 27 points from star Blake Hinson, as well as a 17-point, ten-assist outburst from rookie Jaland Lowe.

“I didn’t know that until I did the radio before the game, I had no idea about it,” Capel said about the ten-year streak. “Again, I’ve tried to have us just so locked in to winning this game. We’ve tried to take the thing of just being 1-0. To me, that’s a testament to Heather [Lyke], to Chancellor Gallagher and our new Chancellor, to the board of trustees, our staff, and the guys that we have been able to recruit that we have taken a lot of lumps, but we continue to show up.”

Bub Carrington and Ishmael Leggett also scored in double figures in a strong team-wide performance for the Panthers. After starting 1-5 in ACC play this season, the Panthers have bounced back with massive road wins over ranked opponents Duke and Virginia as well as several other key victories, including Tuesdays over the Seminoles.

“One of the things that we talk about in our program is to show up,” Capel continued. “It would’ve been very easy for all of us — all of the people that I mentioned — to walk away, or to give in to it. But we’ve continued to show up. I’ve had unbelievable support and I’m grateful. Again, first time in a decade, that’s pretty cool, but I want more.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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2 months ago

Good to know your boss’ name, Chancellor Gabel. If the football selection committee factored in the season ending injury to the FSU qb, then the same committee should do the same for Jaland Lowe. The team is at a different level with him. I know the x-spurts (unknown quantity under pressure) dismissed Pitt in December for their darlings in the Missouri Valley Conference but there aren’t 68 teams in the country better than the Panthers right now, automatic bids not withstanding. I see this morning, Lunardi is covering his expansive derrière but placing the Panthers in his last four out.… Read more »

2 months ago
Reply to  Pittband

Pitt is not gonna get any love so we will have to do it the hard way. If Virginia loses their season finale, Pitt SHOULD be seated ahead of them in the ACC tournament granted we win our season finale. Wake Forrest has lost 3 straight following their home win against Duke yet we beat them(Duke) at Cameron Indoor. Pitt has a chance to be the third seeded team in the ACC if they beat NC State then Clemson loses against Wake and Virginia loses to GA Tech. Pitt should only NOW be focused on beating NC State then we… Read more »

2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Beating UNC depends on the refs. At the Pete, RJ Davis mugged Hinson and got away with it. This time Hinson’s got to take him into the low blocks and either score or get fouled. Putting Davis on the bench would be my focus. But first thing first, beat NC St. and finish with an 8 – 2 record down the stretch, best record in the ACC.

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